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More about Completeness

Things to consider:

Does the source provide historical information about your topic from past years, current information, or both?

For example, if you needed basic facts about the government of Iraq today, you'd need current information. If you found a source that listed Saddam Hussein as the leader, that would not be a source you would want to use.


Does the source provide information that is local, regional, national, or international?

You are writing a paper about a California proposition on a current election ballot. You are more likely to find in depth information in a California newspaper than a national newspaper.


Is the information specific enough for your topic?

statistical data on occupations, including many specific job titles Some information sources are detailed (left), while others are more general (right). wage information considering only three broad job categories

Is the source from a point of view appropriate for your assignment?

It's Your Right: The National Rifle Association Fights Back Likewise, some sources of information present a single point of view (left), while others may include opposing points of view, or a range of viewpoints (right). Gun Control: Opposing Viewpoints

Is the information complete or abridged?

Most information is published in its entirety.

For example, this is a complete edition of the novel, Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes.


Call number PQ6323 .A1 1979b
Author Cervantes Saavedra Miguel de 1547-1616.
Title Don Quixote

Don Quixote de la Mancha / [por] Miguel Cervantes Saavedra ; edicion, estudio y notas de Juan Bautista Avalle-Arce ...

Edition 1. ed.
Publisher Madrid [etc.] : Alhambra, 1979.


However, information may also be published in a shortened or abridged version.

Call number

PQ63239 .A2 1930


Cervantes Saavedra Miguel de 1547-1616.


Don Quixote

Don Quijote de la Mancha. Edited and abridged by Susan Sheridan.


New York,  The Macmillan Company, 1927.


This version of Don Quixote has been abridged. It has been shortened by editing some of the text while retaining the basic content of the story.


Some information sources only provide an abstract or summary of the full publication.

This source presents only a plot

Cliff Notes summary of Don Quixote
Chapter 7 — Page 6