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Completeness: Does the author admit there may be conflicting evidence and explain why he or she rejects it, or are contradictory sources just silently omitted?

Documentation: Does the author identify sources of evidence in footnotes or other citations accurately enough for you to locate and examine them yourself?

Apply the tests described above to a modern or a historical document, then answer these questions:

  • 1.

    What types of evidence does the author give?

  • 2.

    Is the evidence directly relevant to the central question or main point?

  • 3.

    Is the evidence from knowledgeable and trustworthy sources?

  • 4.

    How much does the evidence help persuade you that the authorʹs main

conclusions are correct?

Insufficient, untrustworthy, incomplete, or irrelevant evidence and poor documentation (such as lack of footnotes or other clear references to sources of information) are reasons to doubt an authorʹs conclusions.

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