Evaluating your sources - online versus publishing



"Know where to find the information and how to use it - That's the secret of success"

The quality of your paper directly depends on the sources it is based on. That is why it is crucial for you to be able to distinguish between the authoritative and shallow information. You have a wide variety of options to draw information from: journals, newspapers, scientific articles, books, Internet, etc. You just need to be aware of the purpose of every single source not to make a mess of your paper.

All the sources of information can be divided into two large categories: online or printed materials. Here we will reflect which of them is the most appropriate for academic writing.

The Internet gives a more superficial look at the problem than the printed editions, without the deep insight into the problem as in the book.

The majority of Internet sources do not provide citations to other sources, whereas most academic literary sources include detailed reference list for further research.

No one controls the quality of the information that appears on the net, so you are at risk of including some incompetent data in your paper. Most printed sources are peer reviewed and it gives you guarantee that the information you use is reliable.

You might want to ask us "Is there any chance for me to find good Internet sources? ". Well, of course there is. "If the internet source you've come across meets the requirements of currency, originality, accuracy, authority, purpose and objectivity" (Kubly, 1997), add it up to your writing without any doubt. But if at least one of the mentioned criteria misses it is better to leave it out. The main thing about using Internet resources is to turn on your critical thinking and remember that you are responsible for the quality of the information in your paper. So, do your best to include only reliable and correct facts.

Thank you.

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