Answered By: Richelle Charles
Last Updated: Jul 18, 2017     Views: 24843

When using information for your reseach paper, you need to know if the author is a credible source.  Ask yourself, "Is the author an expert in this particular field of study? Does the article give any background information on the author? Does the author have advanced degrees in that subject area (e.g. PhD)?"

Credential  Question to Ask Where to Find
Educational Background Is the author's education in the subject area in which they are writing? This information will frequently be included in the publication and may be included on the Web site.
Other Writings Has the author written other books or articles on the same or a similar topic? This information will frequently be included in the publication, may be included on a Web site, or search the author's name in the library catalog.
Experience Is the book, article, Web site written in the author's field of expertise? This information will frequently be included in the publication and may be included on a Web site.

To find additional information on an author, you can look at biographical reference sources, which are books containing information about a person's life, work, and professional accomplishments. These sources can help you to determine the author's importance in a particular field. Examples of biographical sources are Who's Who in America and Contemporary Authors, both available in the reference section of most libraries. (From the Online Learning Library, University of Georgia)

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