Q. What does establish credibility mean?
Thank you for your question on establishing credibility.
Depending on how you use that phrase, it could mean one of two things:
1) You are supposed to establish credibility in your own paper.
- This means that you need to show your reader that you know about your topic.
- You want to explain how you came to know that information.
- This could be from personal experience, for example if you work at Starbucks, then you know about coffee from a professional standpoint.
- But, most of the time, the way to establish credibility is from using excellent research.
- You want to back up any statements you make with facts or quotations from experts in that field of knowledge.
- To do this, you want to use credible sources that you find when you research. This also leads to #2.
2) You need to find information from sources that have established credibility.
To determine a source's credibility, use the 5 W's below:
- Who: Who wrote the article/website? Does the author have any credentials or expertise in this field?
- When: When is this information from? Has anything happened in this field since the information was published that would make the information no longer true or useful?
- Where: Where is this information from? Is it from a respected journal? A popular magazine? A questionable website? How reliable is this source? Can I find a more reliable one?
- Why: Why was this information written? Is it factual? Is is persuasive? Does the author support his/her arguments with sources? Is there a Reference page or a Bibliography or Footnotes?
- What: What is the point of using this particular source? What does it have that supports the argument I want to make? Is this useful for my argument?
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