Assessing information

Relevance

When you are working on a piece of coursework you will want to spend less time on the finding and more time on the using of information. By selecting the appropriate search tools at the start you can usually pinpoint the most relevant information for your needs. As you are in an academic environment, you should try to use academic quality resources first. For a reminder on types of information, go to Searching.

Information such as an article or website is relevant if it is useful for your assignment. You can judge if a reference is relevant by checking:

  • the number of times your keywords appear in the abstract or article
  • the language used - this can indicate the intended audience for the article, for example, is it aimed at members of the public, students or academic researchers?
  • whether the information is comprehensive
  • whether the reference complements or contradicts your own knowledge or information you may have found elsewhere.

If the information you have found does not meet your needs, you will need to refine your search.

Activity: Visit some websites. Consider: 

  1. Who is the intended audience
  2. How much information is provided
  3. Is the language natural or emotive?

Creative Commons Licence
SMILE by Imperial College, Loughborough University and the University of Worcester, modified by Marion Kelt Glasgow Caledonian University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.