WR 121 Kidoguchi: Getting Started

Course guide for a WR 121 class.

Research Support for WR121

This guide is designed to help students in WR121 courses find suitable sources for your assignments throughout the term. Use the tabs across the top to navigate to what you need, and note the Assignment Resources tab for assignment-specific resources.

What makes a source good?

There is no magic, easy answer to this question!  There isn't a rule we can use to say "if this is true, the source will be good".  Instead we want to think about the questions we should be asking ourselves when deciding whether to use a source like:

  • Is this source relevant to my topic or is it just that my keywords happened to show up in it?
  • Is this information current?
  • Who wrote it?  What are their qualifications?  Can I confirm their credentials somehow?
  • Is it published?  By whom?  How much scrutiny was this subjected to before it was published?
  • What is the reputation of the publication?
  • Who funded this information and why?
  • Are the sources that the author used to make their argument included/cited?  If not, does the author tell you where they got the information clearly enough that you could track it down?
  • What is the bias or perspective of the author?  Which points of view are they representing?  Which points of view are they leaving out?

Remember, the sources we choose to cite form the basis of our own credibility.  If we cite junk, our reader is justified in thinking our argument is junk.

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