World War One soldiers.
"Operations on the Ancre" by Ernest Brooks. © IWM (Q 1792). Source:

As an evaluation skill, usefulness is one way that you can prove that a source is valuable. Usefulness is the easiest of the evaluation skills to use and should be relied upon if you cannot say anything else when evaluating the source.

What is 'usefulness'?

Usefulness is a statement about how relevant or helpful a particular source is in provide information about your topic.


If a source is helpful in providing any information about your topic, it is considered to be a relevant source. 

How do I prove usefulness?

 You can also argue that a source is useful if you found any of the following during your analysis of the source:

For example:

Demonstrating source usefulness in your writing:


Pliny’s account is particularly relevant to the issues of public entertainment in Roman society and Roman attitudes towards gladiators because he witnessed many such events firsthand.


The photograph was taken the day after the bombing of Hiroshima and it is a useful source to show the effects of the destructive blast.