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Critical Thinking & Academic Research

This guide is created to aid you in your development of critical thinking skills and in your ability to conduct research using library resources.

Tip 4- Accuracy


Questions to Ask

Where should you look to determine the accuracy of a source?

Print Sources & Online Sources

  • Is there a list of references cited in the work? Does the list of references include scholarly sources?
  • Is the information provided based on evidence? What does this source off compared to other sources?
  • Is the source based on opinion/ideas or facts/statistics? Is it free of bias?
  • Are there any grammar mistakes and typos? Is the text poorly organized?
  • Did you look at the publication platform? Is there an editorial board that checks and approves the item before it is published? Has the source been edited or peer-reviewed by editors or scholarly experts?

What to avoid

  • Sources that are poorly written and needs editing 
  • Sources have no reference list cited to prove the information is correct
  • Sources with grammatical or spelling errors
  • Sources that are opinion based and full of bias and lacking facts

Exercise: Find Accurate Sources

Accuracy is about the truthfulness and correctness of the information that is presented. Accuracy is about facts and evidence and not opinions. 

Which of the following articles is peer-reviewed? How do you know? How did you find out? Were you able to access the articles to examine them?

1- (Scholarly Resource) Georgii-Hemming, E., & Westvall, M. (2010). Music education – a personal matter? Examining the current discourses of music education in Sweden. British Journal of Music Education, 27(1), 21-33. doi:10.1017/S0265051709990179

2- (News Article) ‘Family Feud’-style game show wants to pay off your student loans. 

3- Waxer, C. (1999, Jan). Music education: Learning is forever. Canadian Musician, 21, 52-55+. Retrieved from






G.R. Little Library

Elizabeth City State University