Sources Evaluation in Writing

Introduction
When you are writing articles, especiall research papers, you, as often as not, need sources to support your ideas. The origins of such sources vary from books to websites to professional papers. However, many people fail to make their ideas like thesis statements convincing due to their misusing different sources. Thus, the correct use of writing sources has become more and more important.

Definition
Sources evaluation is the process of judging whether a source is valid for inclusion in your paper.

Three Criteria
When you evaluate the sources you want to use, there are three main criteria for judgment: AUTHORITY,QUALITY and SUITABILITY. Let's look at each of these in detail.
1. AUTHORITY
Guarantee the writer's authority so that the sources will be more convincing. For judgment, use the following four questions:
  • Does the author have a good reputation?
  • Does the author have close connections with a reliable instituition or organisation?
  • What are the author's credentials--institutional affiliation (where he or she works), educational background, past writings, or experience?
  • Does the author have a bias or a personal agenda to advance?

2. QUALITY
If the sentences or examples are far from qualified, they will fail to support your thesis statements, convince your readers of your ideas. Qualities of your sources consist of objectivity and accuracy.
(1)Objectivity
Objectivity requires avoidance of bias or discrimination to the largest extent. Indeed, every sentence or example is recorded by human, which results in the impossibility of eliminating all personal opinions or bias. Thus, recognizing such bias and keeping objective will deliver considerable benifits.
For example, ask yourself "Is the person an eyewitness to the events described in the source?" While demonstrating your ideas by using others' experiences, you'd better check out whether their experiences are authentic or not.
(2)Accuracy
Accuracy relates that the sources shoud express correct and precise meanings. This requires avoidance of bogus claims. A claim can be considered bogus or false, when the speaker promises more than he or she can deliver.
For example, the speaker may speak vaguely "many important experiments," or "recent clinial studies show that" to prove a point.
Effective research sources use specific support, not just references to unidentified studies to sources.


3.SUITABILITY
While considering the sutability of your sources, two elements must be taken into account.
(1) Scope.
Scope refers to the fields to which the sources belong. Foe example, if your paper is about literature, it may be inappropriate to use materials quoted from a technical magazine. The same goes for using some personal or so-called popular opinions to support your experimental analysis paper.
(2) Readers
The purpose of your wiring is set to share readers with your findings or personal points of view. Therefore, think of the audience that your paper is targeted at. If the prospect readers are professionals or people specialised in relative fields, it will be acceptable and even necessary to use some jargons or professional vocabularies and descriptions. On the contrary, if your paper is more widely targeted, you'd better make your articles more comprehensible.


Works Cited
1,Rozakis,Dacid.Writing Great Research Papers, New York:McGraw-Hill Companies,2007.Print.
2,"Critical Evaluation of Resources",University of California Berkeley, http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/instruct/guides/evaluation.html,11 Sept.2007. 5 June,2011.



Further Reading
1.Information Quality WWW Virtual Library
2.Evaluation of information sources
3.Critically Analyzing Information Sources