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Introduction to Creative Nonfiction - Oakland Campus: Credible Information

This guide is to accompany professor Bill Lychack's Fall 2014 Introduction to Creative Nonfiction course.

What Makes a Website Credible?

When looking for sources on the Web, it's important to verify that the information presented is credible. 

Below are 5 points and questions to ask when evaluating a website to ensure it is credible:

  1. Accuracy: How accurate is the information presented?
  2. Authority: Who is the author?
  3. Objectivity: For whom is the information written?
  4. Currency: Has the webpage's information been updated recently?
  5. Coverage: Is the information covered appropriate for the intended audience?

Additional questions to ask for each question can be found at the Millstein Library's Evaluating Web Resources site:

What makes information "scholarly"

Instructors often ask students to find “scholarly”, “academic”, or “peer reviewed” sources of information for their research.  These terms all refer to the same type of information – sources based on in-depth research, and are considered higher in quality and more reliable for your research. 

These sources can range from chapters within books or entire books, or journal articles, but all have common characteristics that can help you recognize that type of information.

Scholarly Sources

  • Produced by experts or researchers in a specialized field or discipline.
  • Purpose is to present new or unpublished research.
  • Articles reviewed by experts for scholarly content or quality, or
  • peer reviewed
  • Written using formal language and structure: abstract,
  • literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, footnotes, endnotes and/or bibliography.
  • Articles always cite source information.
  • May include tables or graphs to support research.

Scholarly Resources Explained

Here is a handy checklist to help you in determining if a work is scholarly or not (see the PDF below).

Watch This!

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