Evaluating academic sources using S.P.E.A.R.

Media Type: Helpsheet
Resource Duration: 10 minutes
Number of downloads: 29

S.P.E.A.R. is a reference tool for students to use when critically evaluating an academic source. It works as a prompt for students to identify aspects of the source that they find convincing or otherwise. S.P.E.A.R. groups these aspects into five categories: Scope, Purpose, Evidence, Analysis, and Reasoning. Each category includes suggestions of specific evaluative questions that can be asked of a source. S.P.E.A.R. was inspired by, and is meant to be used alongside the C.R.A.A.P. Test (Blakeslee, 2004) and B.E.A.M. (Bizup, 2008).

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Learning Outcomes

To improve understanding of how to critically evaluate an academic source, in the sense of identifying strengths and weaknesses in its method(s), data, interpretations, conclusions, and working assumptions.

Additional Resource Information

View resources by author(s): Edward Powell

Institution(s): University of Reading

Published: 24/07/2023

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