Sources should be relevant, reliable, credible, timely, and diverse.
- Relevance: "A relevant source is appropriately related to the writer's topic."
- Reliability: "A reliable source uses verifiable information and helps readers trace the sources of information."
- Credibility: "A credible source does not attempt to hide its biases or its argument. It makes logical claims and helps the reader follow its logic."
- Timeliness: A timely source is "not obsolete or behind the times."
- Diversity: "Diversity refers to the variety of sources a writer uses. Good writers seek to develop their projects and their perspectives with different voices and media."
(Definitions taken from: Mauk, John, and John Metz. The Composition of Everyday Life: A Guide to Writing. 4th ed. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.)