Academic Sources, Internet
Professor Bernard Klein
Here are some additional writing and citing tips. Are Internet references appropriate for academic writing? They can be. For example, an online refereed journal whose editor is an established authority in his or her field is as valid as the same material would be in print. Government sites with statistical information are generally fine. These are some examples of acceptable types of sources. However, if you wouldn't attach credibility to some material in print, don't accept it from a web page. If the authorship is unclear, if the writing is of poor quality, if there is no way to judge the qualifications of the author, then ask yourself if you want to use the material. If the site looks like it was put together by a crackpot, it probably was. What's the difference between primary and secondary sources? A primary source is one from which you are citing the author's words directly. A secondary source is one in which someone else is citing the author, and you are telling what the someone else is saying. Primary sources make better citations than secondary sources do. That's because with secondary sources you're relying on someone else to tell you what was said, and it may or may not be accurate. What sorts of resources are appropriate for scholarly writing? Generally, resources that are written by academics and appear in books or refereed journals (that is, those journals with editorial boards that review submissions for scholarly rigor) are what you want to shoot for. Woman’s Day and Farm Journal do not generally meet this standard. Commercial web sites generally don’t either. Web sites put up by someone’s kid brother are usually below par.
Posted on 11/27/2012 at 12:00:00 AM