Sometimes it is obvious that a source is not good. Sometimes it is not.
FOr st year essays, this is not so important. Just avoid bad sources (wikipedia, answers sites, etc) listed under find good sources. For dissertations, academic essays you do during study abroad, you have to be much more careful.
Academic articles can also be low quality. Carefully peer-reviewed articles/books are usually found on:
However, don't be too strict:
Here are five sources (journal, newspaper)
All are from a Wiki article on Fair Trade: (link)
Score them for bias (1-5) and quality (A-C)
|Bias||Unbiased = 5||Maybe a bit biased = 3||Totally Biased = 1|
|Quality||High Quality = A||Medium Quality = B||Low Quality = C|
Griffiths, P. (2010). Lack of rigour in defending Fairtrade: a reply to Alastair Smith. Economic Affairs, 30(2), 45-49. Retrieved from http://www.griffithsspeaker.com/Fairtrade/why_fair_trade_isn.htm
Smith, A. (2008). Fair Trade, Diversification and Structural Change: Towards a broader theoretical framework of analysis. Oxford Development Studies 37(4), 457–478. Retrieved from http://orca.cf.ac.uk/6918/
Carimentrand, A., & Ballet, J. (2010). When Fair Trade increases unfairness: The case of quinoa from Bolivia. Retrieved from http://ethique.perso.sfr.fr/Working%20paper%20FREE-Cahier%20FREE%20n%B05-2010.pdf
Booth, P. (2009, February 20). Don't bully the faithful into buying Fairtrade. The Catholic Herald. Retrieved from http://archive.catholicherald.co.uk/article/20th-february-2009/12/dont-bully-the-faithful-into-buying-fairtrade
Hamel, I. (2006, August 3). Fairtrade Firm Accused of Foul Play. Swiss Info. Retrieved from http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/Fair_trade_firm_accused_of_foul_play.html?cid=5351232 23/12/2009
When you do not read critically enough, sometimes you even believe things that are written to be funny. For example, some people shared this article with their friends thinking it was real: (link)
However, even reliable sources sometimes print jokes (April Fools)
Even real newspaper sometimes unthinkingly reprint articles that were meant as jokes:
Example 1: (link)
Example 2: (link)
Of these articles, some are jokes and some are real. Can you tell the difference? How?