How do I determine if an author of realistic fiction is credible?


Thank you for the question about determining an author's credibility in reference to works of realistic fiction. 

A source being credible is a very important part of finding good and reliable research.

  • When it comes to realistic fiction, different elements of the piece can be either "fiction" or "realistic."
  • In some realistic fiction, the entire story may be fictional, yet the issues faced by the characters are "real" in terms of issues that are relevant in daily life.
  • For example, a fictional story about a person's struggle with addiction and how it impacted their life and relationships could be considered realistic fiction.

Generally, authors of realistic fiction would need:

  • Knowledge of the subject they are writing about.
  • Or, do research to gain this knowledge. 
  • For example, if the author had not experienced addiction, he/she would have to do research about that topic in order to write the book accurately.

To help verify if the author is credible, gather information about the author's credentials and education.

Check the book in the following places (or check online):

  • Author's note (if there is one) 
  • Foreword and/or Introduction (if there is one)
  • About the Author (often found on the back cover)
  • These sections can provide information about expertise, education, and advanced degrees (if any).

Thank you for using ASK US.  For further assistance, please contact your Baker librarians.


  • Last Updated Sep 26, 2022
  • Views 881
  • Answered By Baker Librarians

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