Writing is an easy task. Especially when something is blocking you. Sometimes you lack the inspiration to write and need some time off. But other times, you are blocked because you can’t find suitable sources. This might seem impossible, but it happens quite often that there are no credible sources you can use as inspiration.
Some writers might neglect how important the sources they use are. They don’t check if the information on them is correct or if they are not just spreading something wrong. Other times even the most responsible and diligent person can’t find it hard to check if a source is unreliable. Filtering all the information you can find over the internet or on paper might be challenging. But we are here to help you with tips on finding credible sources for your writing tasks.
How can you find credible sources?
No easy magic trick will help you find the right credible source for your work. You will have to put in a lot of work sometimes, depending on the subject you are writing about and how easy it is to find information. Here are some easy tricks you can try to ensure you are doing your best to verify the sources of information you are using.
Be extra skeptical
It is better to be extra careful and skeptical because your readers will probably be. Many people will read your work under a microscope and check all the facts you stated. And to avoid any potential issues with your content, you should ensure everything is correct. So, if something seems sketchy to you, you should double-check it and make sure that your source is credible.
Check for tips in online courses.
Many online writing courses will prepare you to be a great content creator and transmit information engagingly and interestingly. You most probably have already taken a couple, and the majority of them have a part dedicated to how you can find credible sources of information and how you can check their validity.
If you would like to check some of the best online writing courses to help you with this and, in general, with your writing, now is the perfect time to do it. Most of them will also help you understand the writing trends for 2023 and which will be sources you can use.
Make sure everything is up to date
Imagine that you found a fantastic site to grab all the necessary information and even more. And you start writing your article with ease. Once you are done, you publish it, and then readers come back to you and say that your information is outdated and doesn’t represent the current situation. Sounds unpleasant, right?
This is why you need to ensure every source you use is up to date. Some sites are not adding the date when something was published, but this is easy to check the publishing date. Any printed sources are much easier to check when published, so you should remember not to skip this part of the job.
Evaluate the author and the source’s reputation
One of the easiest ways to check if some source is valid is to check what others say about it. The same applies to the author as well. Nowadays, performing a Google search and checking for reviews is super easy. Maybe some writers already did a hard job and checked all the details around the author or the site, and you can check their conclusion.
When you use internet sources, it is better to avoid personal blogs or sites that seem unreliable. Personal blogs are great if you would like to find recipes for Shepherd’s pie or recommendations for a trip, but those are not the most credible sources that are kept up to date, and the authors aim to be accurate to the dot.
Check the publisher and its credibility.
We all know many big names that provide credible information 99.99% of the time. Of course, you will trust most prestige magazines and their online equivalents. But sometimes, with books, it is a bit harder to determine if the publisher is a reputable one. This is why you can again use the magic of Google and check if the publishing house is focused on a specific topic and is considered knowledgeable about it.
Check what sources the author itself has used.
Sometimes checking the sources the author has used can show you where they got the information and if you can trust it. If they used reputable names, you know they are providing the most up-to-date and verified. However, if you see that the author was getting their information from here and there, perhaps you should start questioning the article’s credibility.
Be aware of the language the source is using.
A source’s language can tell you a lot about its credibility. If the right tone is right and the terms are correctly used, this would mean that the sources are most probably credible and the author knows what they are talking about. However, if they are using very loaded language or vague terms, this can be alarming.
Especially if any statistical data is involved and there are no specific percentages and numbers mentioned, this will show you that you better avoid using this source. The use of buzzwords is also a sign that the writer is just trying to be trending and counts on readers’ emotions more than the credibility of the stated information.
Check if the author is biased.
This can be tricky because it might not be easy to notice if the author is biased. They might have covered very well their personal opinion but still used sources of information that lean more towards a specific idea. This is why you need to check if the piece you are thinking of using as a source is not presenting some idea or even only through a certain lens without considering other points of view.