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CST - Communication Studies AN

Direct comments to Elizabeth Dellavedova,

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How to Evaluate Sources

Sources used for your presentation must be verified as credible. Keep in mind that evaluating your sources as you go will save you time and frustration when it comes time to writing your bibliography. When verifying your sources, make sure you can answer this question: "Why do you think this source is credible?" Here are some questions to help you determine credibility:

  • WHO is the author and what are their credentials?

    If you cannot determine the author and why they are qualified, the credibility of your source cannot be verified.


  • WHEN was the source written and does the publication date work with the scope of your paper?

    Make sure you consider when your source was written or created and that it works with the timeline and claims of your paper or presentation.


  • WHAT (if any) evidence does the author use to support their claims?

    Just as you must support your claims with evidence, your sources must do so too. A bibliography is common for scholarly sources, however, popular sources tend to cite their sources within the body of the article.


  • WHY does the source exist and why did the author create it? Is the purpose to inform, instruct, persuade, entertain?

    Consider the potential biases of your source. Biases can be influenced by personal politics, ideology, culture, religion and institutional or community affiliation. Most of the time you are seeking sources that are largely objective and supported by evidence.


  • HOW does this source relate to your topic and thesis?

    Consider how a source relates to your topic and how it will help you communicate your point. Avoid cherry-picking or taking a source out of context to support your claims. The context of the source and your paper should work together.

Integrating Sources

A quote is word-for-word copying of another person’s words.  A paraphrase is a summary of another person's ideas and words. A summary provides an overview of a source. Knowing how to quote, paraphrase, and summarize sources is an important part of avoiding plagiarism.