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To make supporting points it is important that one finds relevant, accurate, and reliable sources. What should you consider when looking for helpful sources? What are some red flags that indicate you should avoid a particular source?

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The first stage of evaluating your sources takes place before you do any searching. Take a minute to ask yourself what exactly you are looking for. Do you want facts, opinions (authoritative or just anyone's), reasoned arguments, statistics, narratives, eyewitness reports, descriptions? Is the purpose of your research to get new ideas, to find either factual or reasoned support for a position, to survey opinion, or something else. Becoming proficient at selecting sources will require experience, of course, but even a beginning researcher can take a few minutes to ask, "What source or what kind of source would be the most credible for providing information in this particular case?" Which sources are likely to be fair, objective, lacking hidden motives, showing quality control? It is important to keep these considerations in mind, so that you will not simply take the opinion of the first source or two you can locate. Try to select sources that offer as much of the following information as possible: Author's Name Author's Title or Position Author's Organizational Affiliation Date of Page Creation or Version Author's Contact Information. Red flags could be that the source as no author, or any references to follow up with.

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