Criteria For Evaluating great writing Resources
When writing essays or research papers, you will be required to gather information from multiple sources such as articles, books, magazines, newspapers, or the website. When evaluating great writing resources, it’s essential to evaluate each source to determine its relevance, quality, and credibility. Just because an information source matches your search purpose or may seem relevant to your research, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a reliable source of information. It’s crucial to critically analyze the appropriateness of all types of information sources since sources may vary widely in terms of authority, credibility, accuracy, objectivity, and coverage.
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Purpose and target audience
When evaluating your sources, it’s crucial to determine its intended purpose and the target audience. The purpose of the source may include:
- To inform the reader about a particular subject
- To convince or advocate the reader about a particular point of view.
- To entertain the audience.
- To advertise a product or service.
The relevance of a particular source of information depends on the intended or target audience. A target audience is most likely to respond positively to relevant sources of information. The target audience may involve scholars and researches with specialized knowledge, the audience without specialized knowledge, or students either in college, university, or high school.
Evaluating the accuracy of the source
When looking for accuracy of the source, you should consider the following questions:
- Is the information reliable and free from mistakes?
Information that has spelling and grammatical errors reduces the accuracy of the source since it comes across as unprofessional and appears carelessly written, therefore unreliable.
- Is a bibliography included or reference?
Bibliography works cited, or reference section should be included in the site so that readers can confirm that the information presented in the source was used accurately and responsibly.
- Are there links to other reliable sources?
If a particular source is providing a link to other sources, the author is being responsible for acknowledging that you can get information from other sources apart from their source. It’s crucial to get links to other sources so that you can compare discrepancies or errors.
Evaluating objectivity of the source
- Does the source provide opinions or facts?
Sources that are persuasive present only one point of view; therefore, they are not credible or reliable. A trustworthy source should present facts and not opinions.
- Is the information presented biased or unbiased?
A credible source is where the author presents his arguments or opinions with the least amount of biasness towards his own opinions or opposing viewpoints. While it’s acceptable for an author to oppose a particular point of view, he/she must do it politely to avoid alienating the target audience.
Evaluating the currency of the source
- Is the date of the latest revision clearly stated?
Credible and reliable information needs to be current or regularly revised and updated in a world where information keeps on changing. The revision date of a source should be clearly labeled to indicate that the information presented is current.
- Is the information provided when the data was gathered?
If the information was gathered long ago, it may be outdated and no longer accurate and reliable.
- Is the current information required?
If current information is not required, then it may still be reliable and acceptable if it’s historical and accurate.
Evaluating Authority of the source
- Who is the author?
Is it a person or an organization?
- Is the name of the author listed?
If the name of the author is listed, it may be easier to look up the author and see other works they have written and determined if they are an expert in the field they are writing or not.
- What are the author’s credentials?
Credentials such as professors, doctors, specialists, etc. are essential since they show the author is an expert or a professional in a particular field.
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