Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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 5- Purpose

Purpose

Questions to Ask

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

Print Sources & Online Sources

  • What is the purpose of the information that is provided? Is it to inform, sell, persuade, or entertain?
  • What is the author’s language? Is it formal and technical or joking and emotional?
  • Is the information provided in the source objective or subjective?
  • Is the source associated with an organization or institution that is known as sided?

What to avoid

  • Sources that are primarily opinion-based, without facts or statistics 
  • Sources that are primarily concerned with selling and full of advertisements

Exercise:

Purpose gives a reason for the information to exist in the first place and knowing, why the information was created, is a key to evaluation. Please have a look at the resources below and explain the purpose of the information. 

1- (Newspaper article) Abeku, T. (2021, Jan 26). Women farmers seek security from FG. The Guardian Retrieved from https://ecsu1891.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/newspapers/women-farmers-seek-security-fg/docview/2480560856/se-2?accountid=10717

2- (Scholarly Journal Article) LANG, T., & BARLING, D. (2012). Food security and food sustainability: Reformulating the debate. The Geographical Journal, 178(4), 313-326. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4959.2012.00480.x

3- (Reliable Web Sites) Selected government Sites. https://www.state.gov/selected-u-s-government-information-web-sites/

4- (Movie Review Site) Ford v Ferrari (2019). Movie. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1950186/

5- American Society for Nutrition. https://nutrition.org/

6- Wildlife Guide. https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide

 

 

 

 

Images

G.R. Little Library

Elizabeth City State University