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Source Evaluation Techniques: WWWWWH

Who, What, Where, When, Why and How

Sometimes referred to as the 5 W's, 5W1H, or the 6 W's, WWWWWH is a series of questions used to gather information and prompt critical analysis of a source or situation. Each question should begin with one of the six interrogative words: Who, What, Where, When, Why, or How. The important mechanism of these questions is that they cannot be reasonably answered using "yes" or "no"; factual information is required to answer the question in a satisfactory manner.

Some examples of WWWWWH questions that you can use when evaluating sources are:

  • Who wrote this paper?
  • What is the thesis/hypothesis/topic of this piece?
  • Where did the story/study/event etc. take place?
  • When was it published?
  • Why is this the best source for my research?
  • How is this piece relevant to my topic?