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COMM 100 Oral Communications Class Guide


Once you've been done some research, you'll need to make sure that the resources you have found are credible. How do you go about this? For academic articles, see this page, and for popular/news materials, visit this page. Both pages are intended to give you the tools that you need to determine the validity of a material for your assignment.

Scholarly versus Popular Sources

When you evaluate information, you need to do it a little differently depending on the type of resource you're looking at, but how do you know the difference between an academic resource and a popular resource.

An academic/scholarly resource:

  • Is generally written by faculty members, medical doctors, and scholars for the purpose of scholarship
  • Uses technical language that is not intended to be understand by the general populace, but rather an expert in the field in which it is published
  • Often will go through the peer-review process, which is intended to ensure the validity of the resource:

A popular resource:

  • Is ordinarily written by a professional journalist or writer, and is intended to be read by a general populace (rather than experts in the field)
  • Written in easily-understood language and cover broader topics
  • Are not evaluated by experts in the field
  • Lack a list of resources that were referenced by the author during the writing process

Need More Help?

Determining the credibility of a resource can be exceptionally difficult in some cases. The nature of information in today's information landscape actually serves to help the spread of mis- and disinformation. Because information is spread so quickly through social media, information that is blatantly untrue can be seen to be true.

Combating this is really difficult, so if you would like assistance in this, please feel free to reach out to a librarian. We are trained to determine the validity of a claim, so if you aren't sure, we're here to help!