What is the difference between relevance and credibility/validity, when it comes to the secondary sources you will use for your projects?
Relevance is more straightforward:
- Does the source connect to your topic?
- Does it contribute to your argument or provide a contrasting perspective that you must respond to in order to demonstrate you understand the complexity of your topic?
Credibility, or validity, is more complex and can involve several factors:
- Who is the author and what evidence can you find that they have the authority to discuss the topic?
- This can be tricky sometimes, because authors may write on topics that are related to their fields, but which may not seem directly connected.
- What can you find out about the publisher or publication, whether it is a book, scholarly article, newspaper article, or blog post?
- Is the date important?
- This could also fall under relevance, if, for example, your professor requires sources from the last 10 years.
- Other types of criteria to consider when examining the source in more depth include objectivity, purpose, or audience.