Appraising your data sources in research, why and how

Research is a systemic inquiry into a subject matter by collecting an array of raw data, documenting, analyzing and interpreting the data after which a logical conclusion is drawn over the subject matter. That in a nutshell is what undergraduate research literally requires. While doing this, data and information are borrowed from various sources to ensure the research is of standard and credible.

However the undergraduate project topics you choose for your research is the chief determinant of the kind of data to source for and most of the time where and how to find them. It is expedient that you appraise your data sources during your undergraduate project research which is the more reason this article seeks to answer the why and how to appraise your data sources. Very quickly, let’s get to work;

What does it mean to appraise to research source

Simply put, appraising a research source means to consider the thoughts, ideas and opinions of other people other than the researcher with the aim of attributing their opinions to the current research. This is usually done with due acknowledgement.

Why should undergraduate project students appraise research data sources?

To ascertain the quality of the data source

After having their undergraduate project topics approved, most undergraduates leverage the internet for information regarding their project topics. Having endless results, they fall cheaply to sources that are not up to par with the academic standards often without credible references if at all it has. Therefore it is needful to look out for information alone from sources with proper documentation as mark of quality and credibility.

Authority of the data source

Who the opinion is sourced from is very important in ascertaining the credibility and reliability of a research data. Which is the more reason appraisal is important in every research. Every authoritative documentation are usually and properly acknowledged with stamps, seal and signatures, referenced or signed.

How do you appraise a research source as undergraduate project student

  • First table the research topic the data source has discussed about taking care to include the Name of the source, the year and publication and the page number of the publication.

  • What did the research seek to find out and what conclusions was drawn from that research

  • What significance does that research’s conclusion add to your undergraduate project research

Appraising a data source is more like saying what someone else said in a way of reviewing the person’s opinion whether in agreement or disagreement while at the same time giving credit to the source.


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