Validating Credibility of Sources

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Evaluating the credibility and validity of sources of information can be a very complex thing to do. The credibility of the sources of information depends on the reliability of the information used to support points. Different people have different standards for credibility. For example, when you’re in college and you have to write a research paper, everything you write has to be documented. This has to be done in great detail and you have to use a certain format such as APA or MLA style.

There is a guideline that I have learned while in college in regards to credentials. I have learned that a source of information is only as credible as the author’s credentials and the reputation of the publishing company or organization that are supporting him or her. When it comes to credentials, the first thing you should do is research the author. You have to find out what the author’s qualifications are and what credentials he or she holds that are equivalent to the subject. For example, if I was writing a research paper on medicine, I wouldn’t consider a journal or article discussing medicine credible unless the author that wrote the article was a professor of medicine or currently a practicing physician. These two candidates would indeed hold a M.D. degree, proving that they have studied medicine.

Credibility of the source of information should depend on the information itself and not the opinion of whoever the author is that wrote the article. This is a form of impartiality. The author should only state facts. For example, if discussing a particular type of medicine, it should be clear of the author’s connection. Is he/she selling the product or promoting it?

The writing style and tone is another way to form credibility and validity of sources of information. You should determine whether the tone is professional or not. If it is indeed professional and the tone is for the targeted audience then more than likely the source of information is credible. Some...
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