Online writing jobs have many advantages.
Most freelancers agree that, not meeting your boss in the mornings is cool.
However, this doesn’t mean that online writers are all in clover. Hunting for credible sources of information online can poison their working days. This post offers an effective antidote.
Credible Sources: Main Features
“There is nothing easier than finding reliable sources on the web” – said no online writer ever.
When you see some text on the web, you can be absolutely sure of only 2 things. The first is that the author has an Internet connection. The second is that the author has some free time for putting his/her thoughts in writing and posting them online. No guarantees regarding the author’s qualification, honesty and prior experience. That’s why, including even a properly-cited quote from a questionable online source can be a sure-fire way to failure.
How do you know which web sources truly deserve a place in your papers then? Here are 5 clues:
- A respected author who has a degree and authority in the field;
- an authoritative venue – .edu or .gov site, a scholarly or peer-reviewed journal, a textbook etc.
- having the approval of professionals; – peer reviewed or cited in other reliable works;
- advancing weighty arguments;
- showing clear logic.
*Actually, the second point is usually a guarantee of reliability and thus enough for using a source.
Online Writers, Beware: Unverified Sources Are All Around You!
These are top 5 sources to avoid for online writers:
- Wikipedia – it can be a good starting point for research. However, including Wikipedia into the reference list is a no-no.
- Yahoo Answers can offer some valuable information… for 8 graders. At the same time, Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Directory truly deserve your attention.
- Answers.com is a service from Google where anyone can post a question and get an unverified answer from an unknown enthusiast. On the other hand, Google Scholar and Google Books are perfect places for online writers.
- Personal blogs are among the most biased sources you could find online.
- Social networks and discussion rooms can give you a lot of pretty good information which, however, shouldn’t be included into your papers without prior verification from a more reliable source.
Would you add something to this list of online literature taboos?