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How to Evaluate Sources for Credibility

Evaluating Sources

Sources should be relevant, reliable, credible, timely, and diverse.

  1. Relevance: "A relevant source is appropriately related to the writer's topic."
  2. Reliability: "A reliable source uses verifiable information and helps readers trace the sources of information."
  3. 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."
  4. Timeliness: A timely source is "not obsolete or behind the times."
  5. 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.)

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