Merritt College Childhood Obe

What is meant by “credible”?

As we will learn shortly from the Ted Talk by Tristan Harris, a Google search is not a trustworthy engine to lead you to credible sources. The internet is not the same as a library! ¬†Because you are under surveillance with every action you take online, a Google search may take you to the site it judges most likely to distract your attention and get you to buy something. Or take you to some blog or website written by an oaf. ūüėČ

This is why libraries and their internet data bases are far superior to your standard internet search. For your research in the class, therefore, I am requiring you to utilize your college library’s data bases and other resources along with internet research. Where ever you may conduct your research, keep your eyes open for articles published in scholarly journals, websites or publications by nonprofit organizations, websites or publications by academic institutions and centers, articles published in major newspapers (such as The New York Times or Washington Post), and government websites or publications. Ted Talks, because they are usually done by authorities in their fields, can also be an excellent resource. If you do a Google search, it’s up to you to evaluate your sources.¬†

If you are a particularly intrepid researcher and want to conduct interviews with experts in the fields that you are researching, good for you! Interviews count if your source is credible and you can learn a lot more about your topic that way. Be sure to run your proposal by me before launching into the interview, however. 

The following do NOT count as credible sources: popular magazines (like The National Enquirer or People); websites and blogs published by anonymous individuals or individuals without credentials/expertise (this is the most common sort of pitfall with research on the Internet). Watch out for student websites or student papers as well as websites not affiliated with an educational institution, research center, nonprofit organization, or the government. If you have questions about whether a source is credible, ask me! 

A Note on Quotations: While quoting authorities in the field you are researching is integral to establishing your ethos as a reliable source and to establishing the logos of your argument, quote sparingly! Never let a quotation from another source do your work for you by offering more than a sentence or two of quotations per paragraph. Your Evaluation Argument must be in your own words, with your own narrative in the driver’s seat guiding the reader through your argument. It should NOT read like a list of quotes strung together. When you do quote, be sure to introduce them properly and follow them up by stating how they illustrate, exemplify, or apply to your argument. In short, be certain to integrate your quotations into your argument — don’t just drop them into your narrative like ceiling tiles dislodged by an earthquake. As well, even if you summarize or paraphrase information, be sure to cite your sources properly!

Finally, a note on Wikipedia. I myself like Wikipedia and will use it to get oriented to a topic that I am not familiar with. Yet be aware that Wikipedia is not a credible source for college-level research, and sometimes, because it is not peer reviewed, it can slant information or simply spread disinformation. In short, it’s not a credible source. However, if you look at the conclusion of any Wikipedia article you’ll find a list of works cited by the authors of the wiki, and those can be quite useful! See if any of those are credible sources‚ÄĒsometimes they are and can be good leads!

Your Assignment: Get researching! Submit to me here three credible essays, articles, books, Ted Talks, interviews, etc. that you have uncovered and may utilize for your Evaluation Argument.

Tell me who the author/s is, where the work is published, and how its argument/information is relevant to your social issue.

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