EVALUATING IDEAS   back

The University of Alabama
Center for Academic Success
124 Osband
348-5175

Reading on the college level requires more than merely understanding an authorís message. College reading requires you to evaluate a writerís ideas and concepts, that is, to judge the worth of what you read. Use these questions as guidelines to evaluate reading:

1.  Does the author carefully separate facts from his or her opinions?

2.  Does the passage present the facts completely, specifically, and accurately?

3.  Does the author seem reliable? Can you see what strengths or experiences qualify the author to write about the topic?

4.  Does the author make any claims that seem outrageous or unsupportable?

5.  Does the author make his or her intent or point of view clear?

6.  Does the author take into account other points of view on the topic?

7.  Does the author try to appeal more to your emotions or to your reason and common sense?

8.  Do your emotions get in the way of your ability to judge an authorís statements fairly?

9.  Does the author seem to slant information in such a way as to prejudice your ideas? Is he or she using propaganda?

If you have questions about evaluative reading or any other study skill, contact the Center for Academic Success, 124 Osband Hall, 348-5175.