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Pro tip: When rewriting someone else’s words, you’ll still need to cite them

Consider your source's credibility. Ask these questions:

Contributor/Author

  • Has the author written several articles on the topic, and do they have the credentials to be an expert in their field?
  • Can you contact them? Do they have social media profiles?
  • Have other credible individuals referenced this source or author?
  • Book: What have reviews said about it?

Publisher

  • What do you know about the publisher/sponsor? Are they well-respected?
  • Do they take responsibility for the content? Are they selective about what they publish?
  • Take a look at their other content. Do these other articles generally appear credible?

Bias

  • Does the author or the organization have a bias? Does bias make sense in relation to your argument?
  • Is the purpose of the content to inform, entertain, or to spread an agenda? Is there commercial intent?
  • Are there ads?

Currency

  • When was the source published or updated? Is there a date shown?
  • Does the publication date make sense in relation to the information presented to your argument?
  • Does the source even have a date?

Reproduced

  • Was it reproduced? If so, from where?
  • If it was reproduced, was it done so with permission? Copyright/disclaimer included?

Citations

  • Is there a bibliography or are there citations/links to related credible sources?
  • Conversely, are there credible sites or sources that refer/link to this content? In what context?

Relevance

  • Is the content relevant to your thesis statement?
  • Is the tone (academic, casual, etc.) appropriate for your bibliography?

Accuracy

  • Is the data verifiable and accurate?
  • Are there spelling or grammatical errors? If online, are any of the links dead?

Complete

  • Is the source comprehensive?

Credible

  • Based on previous criteria, decide whether the source is credible overall.
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Citation Machine® uses the 8th ed. of MLA, 7th ed. of APA, and 17th ed. of Chicago (9th ed. Turabian).