You need to be careful when using sources that you properly acknowledge them, but you need equally to be aware that some sources are more "resourceful" than others. To make sure your sources serve you well, you should be skeptical about your sources and try to determine how reliable they are.
Source Evaluation ChecklistAnswer the following questions from the Harbrace Handbook to help determine how reliable and authoritative your sources are.
- What are the author's credentials?
- Do others speak of the writer as an authority?
- Does the work contain evidence indicating that the author is well informed?
- Is the work recent enough to provide up-to-date information?
- Is the work published by a reputable company?
- Does the work provide documentation to support important points?
- Does the work include a bibliography that could help you to identify other sources? (Hodges et al. 405)