Reliable Resources - Gen/200c

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When doing research and determining which resources are reliable and relevant there is one thing to keep in mind; not all information is created equal. Information can come in many forms and distinguishing the good from the bad can sometimes resemble walking through a mine field. One wrong source and your whole paper can explode. Sure it may not be that dramatic but the bottom line is good information will strengthen your paper; bad information will weaken it. If the resources used are not accurate or irrelevant, it can invalidate your argument or viewpoint. If you utilize a source that has been referenced numerous times or compare information from various sources that can strengthen your work. Sources found on educational or government sites can reinforce your writing because it is corroborated by documentation. Other sites should be avoided since the information found there is tough to substantiate. In order to determine if a source is reliable, you should consider where the information originated, research the author, and evaluate all sources. Oftentimes, common sense and knowledge of a particular subject matter can be vital in deciding whether or not a source is reliable and uncovering author bias. Does the information seem objective? Is it contradictory or inconsistent? Does the writer have an obvious agenda? Is there more emotion in the writing than facts? These are questions to ask when determining bias. Also, check to see if the author can substantiate his/her claims with evidence. After finding information that supports your topic or argument, investigate the author(s) to verify credentials. If the article is written by an educator, go to the university or school’s web page and confirm employment. If their work is in a peer-reviewed journal then it is considered to be reliable. Each article in the journal undergoes an arduous review process and is assessed for accuracy by peers and experts. These journals include an...
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