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CRJ/SOC/AAAS 473: Race, Crime, and Justice

Research Guide for CRJ/SOC/AAAS 473

What Is Peer-Review?

What is peer-review? Watch this video and find out.

Analyzing Your Sources

Use the articles you select to build your own informed opinions and arguments.

1. Critically evaluate the theoretical positions being advanced
2. Critically evaluate the adequacy of the methods and data to address the position being advanced
3. Examine what has previously been found in studies about your topic
4. Examine how your topic fits into this literature and how it helps answer your research questions

Selecting your sources: Are Your Sources CRAAP?

Are your sources appropriate for university-level research? Ask questions about your sources when you're deciding whether or not to use them for your research assignments:

Currency: The timeliness of the information 

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has it been updated?
  • Do you need the most current, up-to-date information on your topic?

RelevanceThe information meets your assignment needs 

  • Does the source meet your assignment requirements?
  • Does the information directly relate to your topic?
  • Does it help you answer questions?
  • Have you looked at other sources to find the best one?

Authority: The source of the information 

  • Who is the author or publisher?
  • Are they qualified to write about this area?
  • If it's a website, what does the URL say about the source, i.e. .com .edu .gov .org?

Accuracy: The reliability and correctness of the information 

  • Is the information supported by citations or other evidence?
  • Can you verify the information with another source?
  • Is the author or publisher biased or unbiased? 

Purpose: The reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? To inform, sell, persuade, or entertain?
  • Is the information given a fact or an opinion?
  • Is the author or publisher biased or unbiased?
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