The first thing I look for is a relevant book that is already in the library because I tend to trust the credibility of books that are already within our library. Then next step that I look into is by trying to find a bias within the book that would tend to filter certain facts or opinions. The main reason that I do this is so I can try and find opposing arguments to create contrasting viewpoints. Most research assignments that I have written so far for Trinity College has been pick an opposing side so by picking holes in the opposing sides argument or attempting to prove how your argument isn’t able to be picked apart by the other side.
When I look journal articles it is much more important for me to know where the journal article came from, a reputable source, an academic site(college or university) or an author that it is easy to find their sources. Journals are nice for research assignments because they tend to be a more focused topic that could relate more to your individual assignment compared to a book where only a chapter or single paragraph has the information that you’re looking for.