Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sources and Such

We all know we should do it. You know, the ol' adages, "Give credit where credit is due" and "A bird in the hand is worth more than a monkey in the bush." Okay, I'm not so sure about the second one, but the whole idea of giving credit to those who deserve it is important. Not doing so can lead to bad grades, expulsion, or law suits. So, as Nike says, just do it.

But when writing a paper, you want to look for quality sources. Let's review some excellent examples:

1. Books written by a subject's expert
2. Newspaper articles
3. Online references from credible databases (your online school library should have links)

However, when writing a paper that is to be turned in to be graded, do not (hold on, let's capitalize that for extra emphasis) DO NOT include sources from "those" websites. Come on, we all know what I'm referring to:

1. Wiki-pedia
2. Answers.com
3. ehow.com

These sites are the first ones to usually appear in a Google search, and there's no way to verify their credibility other than to find the information somewhere else. So, use those other sources! Now, if you're not sure what to write, and you're looking for ideas, those sites can be a good place to start. However, once you have an idea, exit immediately. Do some real research. Dig deep. Find the experts. Not only will your professors appreciate your thoroughness, but you might actually learn something.

2 comments:

  1. As a former lit teacher (AmLit -- high school), I thank you for giving clarity to an Achilles heel of online sources.
    Interesting blog.
    Keep up the good words!

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  2. Recently, I've suggested that my tutees check out Google Scholar, which -- unlike EBSCOHost and ProQuest -- searches a hefty database of considerably-sized book excerpts.

    Also, I have found that certain professors enjoy it when you cite your own dreams. However, said dreams should receive proper citation in the References page.

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