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Research Fundamentals: Articles

A guide to print and online resources for starting your research.

How to evaluate articles and journals

One of the most common questions librarians and instructors get from students is, "How do I evaluate an article or/and a journal?". Here are some questions you can ask yourself when evaluating an article. 


  • What is the subject of the article? 
  • Is it relevant to your research?
  • Does it add to the information you've already found or provide a new perspective? 


  • When was the article published? This is especially important. Are you looking for historical information or the latest information out there? 
  • Is it recent enough for your research needs? 


  • Why was the article written - what is its purpose? 
  • Do they describe their research methods and cite appropriate sources? 
  • Is it presenting research, making an argument, or giving an opinion? 


  • Who wrote the article? 
  • What credentials do they have? 
  • Who is on the editorial board for the journal? What credentials do they have? 


  • Which journal published the article? 
  • Is the journal published by a scholarly organization or academic publisher? 
  • Where was the research conducted? 
  • Would research in another country or region be relevant to your research topic? 


  • How have the authors conducted their research or made their arguments?
  • Do they describe their research methods and cite appropriate sources? 

Getting the Article

  is the most direct way to get the article.

Another approach to full text is the link to

which may bring up a specialized resource

or identify print materials at the NU Libraries


Resources for the Persuasive Essay

Writing a persuasive or opinion-based essay?

 CQ Researcher covers major issues with an overview article, pros and cons, chronology (timeline of the issue), along with a bibliography.

Check the  LexisNexis Academic Hot Topics 



Don't worry. 

The Interlibrary Loan Service allows you to request delivery of materials not available at the NU Libraries.   

If you need an article   you can request it through ILLiad. There is no charge for ILLiad service and your article PDF link will be e-mailed to you, usually within 1 -- 2 days.

ILLiad can also deliver books, videos and other materials. More information

How do I find peer-reviewed articles?