Q. What does establish credibility mean?


Thank you for your question on establishing credibility.

That phrase 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?

The Library Online Resources are considered credible sources for research papers. 

Thank you for using ASK US.


  • Last Updated May 08, 2019
  • Views 16787
  • Answered By Baker Librarians

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