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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 5- 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


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

2- (Scholarly Journal Article) LANG, T., & BARLING, D. (2012). Food security and food sustainability: Reformulating the debate. The Geographical Journal, 178(4), 313-326.

3- (Reliable Web Sites) Selected government Sites.

4- (Movie Review Site) Ford v Ferrari (2019). Movie.

5- American Society for Nutrition.

6- Wildlife Guide.






G.R. Little Library

Elizabeth City State University