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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


This guide provides quick and easy access to library resources for Rhetoric assignments as well as guidance on getting research and writing help.

Handout: Select The Best Information Source

Class Activity 1: Engaging With Sources

All sources you find while conducting research are part of an ongoing conversation on a particular topic. It is your job as a researcher and writer to evaluate your sources to determine the validity of their contribution to the broader conversation.

Sample Topic

"Is there a connection between neighborhood air pollution and asthma rates?"


1. Make a quick list of up to 5 criteria you would use to determine if a source you find while searching is credible and useful for an academic research assignment.

2.  Review the following sample source against your list and decide if you think this source is credible and useful for an academic research assignment.

Class Activity 2: Searching Databases

Now that you've learned more about library databases, let's practice by finding an article related to your research question! Please open this link and follow the instructions:


  1. Find an article using either the database Academic Search Ultimate or one from the Find Articles Guide that meets the following requirements:
    • From a peer-reviewed journal
    • Published in the last five years
    • Related to your research question
  2. Enter information about the article in the link web form as well as notes about how you searched.
  3. Be prepared to share your experience with the rest of the class.