Reputable and credible resources are essential for writing a quality essay. The world is full of information, but not all of it is strong enough to provide evidence when writing an essay. Good sources will provide solid evidence for your argument. Knowing what to look for will save you time researching and writing.
Things You'll Need
- Research assignment
- Internet access
- Newspaper and scholarly journal access
Consider all types of research. Thinking beyond books and the Internet offers you different avenues of solid, reliable sources. Consider interviewing experts, collecting statistics and looking through newspapers to add diversity to your essay.
Evaluate the author. The author of any piece of work should be clearly identified. The author also should have credentials, especially regarding the subject at hand. Look for experts in the field you are researching to strengthen your argument. Read the preface and introduction of a book to get a feel for the author’s purpose.
Examine the publication, book, journal or website for reliability. A journal, publisher or website information can give you clues to a source’s credibility. For example, scholarly journals published by universities are more reputable than popular magazines, according to George Mason University. Government publications and professional associations are also generally accepted as reliable.
Evaluate the content. Look for information that is current or relevant. Older information can be helpful in some cases, but if you’re writing about science or technology the newest information will be best for your essay. However, if you are presenting a historical perspective, older information can help you prove a point. Look for in-depth content and examine indexes and bibliographies, which can help you explore related topics.
Examine Internet sources closely. The Internet is full of information, but some of it may not be reliable. Using the above information will help you decipher if an Internet source is credible. In addition, look for the website’s purpose and consider if the information presented is comprehensive. Considering a website's design and advertising (if any) can help you determine if a source is reputable, according to the University of British Columbia.
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