In-Depth Analysis

2. In-Depth Analysis

After you complete your first look, you should examine the content of the source. You want to make sure it matches up with your project in terms of subject matter. You also want to scan the item to see what type of work it is and if it meets your assignment's requirements. Below are a few key things you will want to examine.

Examine the following:

  • Point of view: Is it impartial? Look at the author's credentials. Does it sound like they may have a bias?
    • Example: A Wall Street executive writing about the 2008 crash. Does he have an agenda?
  • Bibliography: Is there one? Does it appear to be well-researched and thorough?
  • Language: Look at the writing. Are there objectionable sentences?
    • Example: Is there anything that might be considered racist, sexist, or gender biased? Are there sentences that make claims which then are not backed up by fact?
  • Primary or secondary: Primary resources are first-hand accounts and secondary resources are commentaries on primary resources. Secondary resources should have a thorough bibliography and be as impartial as possible.
    • Example primary resource: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    • Example secondary resource: Criticism about Huckleberry Finn
  • Reviews: Locate reviews on a work like a book. Check out the New York Times book review or use an EBSCO database, like Academic Search Premier, to find a variety of reviews. Did it receive good reviews or were objections raised?

Check out the Book Reviews tutorial for more information about how to locate and use them: Find Book Reviews

For more assistance with the research process, consult your instructor or Ask Steely Library!

Steely Library phone number:  859.572.5457