Accounts: 0782557223 Tracking: 0318115749 | 0870574924


How to confirm sources of information

When choosing sources, you probably won’t have time to read it in its entirety before deciding if you can use it for your research paper. Here are some tips for determining if different books, articles and web pages will be beneficial to you:


  • Use the table of contents and look for keywords in chapter titles and headings. Does this look like a work that engages with your research questions?
  • Check the index for important terms and names (see Developing Your Topic for keyword tips).
  • Browse the bibliography or list of works cited (usually before the index at the end of the text, or at the end of chapters in an edited collection). Does this work seem to cite sources that are also relevant? If so, track them down–even books that aren’t perfect for your topic (too general, for instance) may lead you to better sources.


  • Read the abstract. Especially if you found the article through one of our article databases, there will almost always be an abstract, or a brief description of the information contained in the article. Does the distilled argument here match your interests?
  • Read the introduction and get an idea of the direction the author is taking. Will this help you answer your research question?
  • If you’re working with an online article, use your computer’s FIND function to locate key words or phrases in the article. Read around the important phrases for context. Is this author taking the issue in a direction that connects with your own ideas and questions?
  • For tips on evaluating quality, see our guides under How do I evaluate my sources ?

Web pages

  • Who is publishing or sponsoring the page?
  • Use the URL to help you discover the source and/or sponsor of the page.
  • Is contact information for the author/publisher provided?
  • How recently was the page updated?
  • Be particularly wary of bias when viewing web pages. Anyone can create a web page about any topic. YOU must verify the validity of the information.
  • For more specific guidelines in evaluating web pages see our Evaluating Internet Sources guide.

How to confirm Higher Educational Institutions

Students, parents and learners to be extra careful and guard against being conned by bogus institutions when registering through Higher Education Institutions.

For years‚ many students, parents and learners have found themselves paying hefty amounts of money to non-existing schools..

Students, parents and learners need to make sure that schools where they register their children are fully registered with the South African Qualifications Authority and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

To do this‚ students are advised to check the registration certificate of that institution.

This certificate‚ issued by the DHET‚ must be able to clearly show all the programmes each institution is accredited to offer.

If there is a programme that is not included in that certificate but which the institution promises to offer‚ students must know that they are being conned.

A list of all the names of institutions that are fully registered and operating legally is available at on the links below:

Universities : Click here

Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) : Click here

HESA(Higher Education of South Africa): Click here

Through the different SETA’s – for Training Providers : Click here