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ENGL 1010 - Murdock-Hinrichs

Determining reliability

How do you know if a source is reliable? Ask the following questions:

  1. Who is the author? Do they have an educational background or expertise related to the topic of the article, website, blog entry, book chapter about which they are writing?
  2. Where is the source published? Is the information self-published or did it appear in a well-respected newspaper or journal? If you're not sure, Google the publication name to find out about it.
  3. What's the date of the source? Date is especially important in the sciences, since we are always learning new information that may discredit something believed to be true just last year. In the humanities, date is less significant, although it is good to be aware that some historical writing styles before the 1950s included a fair amount of personal interpretation on the part of the author.

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