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Pro tip: When rewriting someone else’s words, you’ll still need to cite them
Consider your source's credibility. Ask these questions:
- Has the author written several articles on the topic, and do they have the credentials to be an expert in their field?
- Can you contact them? Do they have social media profiles?
- Have other credible individuals referenced this source or author?
- Book: What have reviews said about it?
- What do you know about the publisher/sponsor? Are they well-respected?
- Do they take responsibility for the content? Are they selective about what they publish?
- Take a look at their other content. Do these other articles generally appear credible?
- Does the author or the organization have a bias? Does bias make sense in relation to your argument?
- Is the purpose of the content to inform, entertain, or to spread an agenda? Is there commercial intent?
- Are there ads?
- When was the source published or updated? Is there a date shown?
- Does the publication date make sense in relation to the information presented to your argument?
- Does the source even have a date?
- Was it reproduced? If so, from where?
- If it was reproduced, was it done so with permission? Copyright/disclaimer included?
- Is there a bibliography or are there citations/links to related credible sources?
- Conversely, are there credible sites or sources that refer/link to this content? In what context?
- Is the content relevant to your thesis statement?
- Is the tone (academic, casual, etc.) appropriate for your project?
- Is the data verifiable and accurate?
- Are there spelling or grammatical errors? If online, are any of the links dead?
- Is the source comprehensive?
- Based on previous criteria, decide whether the source is credible overall.