So much has happened in recent years to question the credibility of information that we need to be ready to support our statements with facts. Citing the source implies that you are prepared, that you know your subject well.
- Check to be sure you are correct. Try to corroborate the information. Look for different sources and compare date. For instance, if one read an item in the New York Times, check to see what the Washington Times said about the information, if anything.
- Be precise in your statements. Say what you mean and be truthful. If you are offering an opinion, let your audience know that it is your opinion. Depending on the status you hold with the audience, your opinion may be enough proof.
- Reduce the likelihood of a challenge. Offer enough supporting data to back your comments. If you are making an oral presentation, eliminate pauses and stammering, which may lead the audience to question the depth of your knowledge on the subject.
- When providing statistical data, indicate the date as well as the source of the material.
- Update your information before each presentation or revision. Information is perishable.
Example: According to Al Smith’s 2004 study, which I found on the Internet…
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