What is Relevance?
The relevance of a bibliographic source is its connection with commonly acknowledged requirements, following which allows people to assess a source as credible. Simply speaking, if the sources you used for your paper do not match these requirements, your writing will most likely be declined as not credible.
How to Make Sources Credible?
1. One of the main conditions determining the relevance of any source is the date of publication. Look for the newest sources, as it is believed the newer the source is, the more exact the information it contains (which is not necessarily true). You can find a great piece of useful data in older books—like in those published in the 1980s or even further back; in this case, make sure to ask your instructor whether you can use older sources.
2. The credibility and reputation of a source itself is another essential parameter you need to consider when writing papers. For example, if you are using Internet resources, the best would be to browse websites with .edu or .gov in their URLs, because such websites usually take responsibility for the data they provide. Or, if you are using printed sources, different kinds of magazines also have lower relevance than scientific journals. The general rule is: scholarly information is more relevant than popular information.
3. Always check if the information in your source can be verified. If an author bases his or her writing solely on personal opinions (even if this author is renowned) you should be careful with using his or her material as a source for your writing.
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