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FREN 3050: French Composition I (Allsman): Evaluating Information

Evaluating Information

Whe you evaluate information you are looking at certain criteria that will help you decide how useful the material is for you.

  • Currency

    • When was it published? In what year?

  • Authority 

    • Who did it write it? is the author an expert on the subject?

    • What publishing  house published the work?

      • Is it academic?

      • Is it government based?

      • Is it recognized for its quality and objectivity?

  • Objectivity

    • What point of view is the author presenting? It the author partial or impartial?

    • Is it considered an opinion or investigative or analysis piece? 

  • Scope (coverage)

    • What is it about?

    • Is it general or covers the topic in depth?

  • Audience

    • Who is the audience?

      • university students, popular, experts in the topic?

Critical Analysis

When you provide a critical analysis, you offer readers an evaluation of the work or the text that will hep them determine the value of the content and the author, and the intended audience. Your review should provide unbiased information, an interpretation if needed, and your objective evaluation.

  • Identify the author's credentials

    • ​Provide background information: publishing house, title of work)

  • Identify main ideas of the work or text and subject matter

  • Summarize the content covering these main ideas and subject matter

  • Analyze structure of the text (use of illustrations, prose, verse, narration style, overall organization)

  • Identify the purpose of the work and evaluate it

    • To target a specific audience

    • To persuade with opinion and emotions

    • To convey factual information and reasoning

    • To entertain 

Newspapers: Investigative vs Opinion vs Analysis

  • An opinion article expresses the thoughts or opinions of the author. The author may want to convince you of something but not necessarily inform you.
  • An analysis article explores a topic from the point of view of an expert on this topic. The author will probably use data to corroborate information.
  • An investigative article is usually written by a group of journalists, who investigates a topic at length. 


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