Citing credible sources seems like an easy task, but there is more to it than you think. You may have knowledge of reliable sources from others or even use the weekly resources your instructor gave you, but are you able to find them on your own? Lets examine how to choose your sources wisely.
During your spare time, you view posts from your friends and tweets from public figures. Your inbox fills up with forwards regarding one thing or another. You believe and are intrigued by all of these things because you know that if it wasn’t true or reliable, the site(s) would be taken down, and/or the celebrity would sue because the information did not come from them. If these protections are taken with others, wouldn’t you want to protect your credibility by choosing correct sources as your validation?
The web has so much information – the good, the bad and the ugly. On the web there are all sorts of publications which are based on facts as well as opinions. It is important to develop well written assignments based on factual evidence from references that document supporting evidence. Websites that end with .edu or .gov are required to practice this. They have authors that have a connection to the subject and an audience so that their citations are not only valid but oftentimes utilize firsthand knowledge or primary sources.
Choosing sources wisely also means to choose informational text as references. Pick articles from newspapers and journals that are from professional sites that are institutional or educational in nature. Stay away from commercial business sites and personal web pages. Make sure the information is current and the date the information is written is recent in comparison to the subject. For example, if you were writing about organizational communications, your sources should be from the 21st century and not the 80 s or 90s because you want the most current information available.
Remember to stay away from anything that seems biased or based on opinions as your source of information. Commercial websites are intended to sell products so those are not reliable as well. Information should be current so check dates and working urls. Always know, to avoid any doubts, access your university-provided database for sources.
Credible – able to be believed or trusted
Reliable – yielding the same compatible results in different clinical experiments or trials.
By Trinita Gay
Online Learning Tips, Guest Contributor