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Critical Writing Program Spring 2022 - Kramer: WRIT 030-355 2022A TRUE OR FALSE: Tips for Searching

Tips for Searching

Getting comfortable with searching in databases is a skill that you develop through practice, consideration, and working with your peers, instructors, and librarians.

The more experience you have, the more it becomes second nature. It is important to consider the quality and purpose of your sources as you identify articles, books, and other resources.

It isn't just whether the article or other work addresses your topic. Other factors should be taken into account:  What are the authors' credentials for writing on this topic, what is their evidence, how did they find or acquire that evidence, are their methods, data, and findings  supported by others from different institutions or organizations in the same or related fields. Even if appropriate and reliable, are the data and findings current or outdated? 

These are all good questions to discuss with your instructor or your librarian as you are doing your searching and finding your resources. Never base your conclusions on a single source of information. Even distinguished scholarly publications are occasionally compelled to retract or correct material. 

Determining the Credibility of Sources

It is important to determine if the sources you are including are credible. You should be able to definitively determine the source of the information, and then assess how reliable, accurate, and trustworthy the source is based on the credentials of the author(s), the review structure, the citations used to support the claims, and the relevancy to your subject. 

We already have excellent guides on how to evaluate your sources BEFORE citing them in a paper. Please use these resources:

If you are unsure of the credibility of a source please reach out to your professor or a librarian. We have subject area specialists in the library that can help you determine the reliability of a source. 

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