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- Why is it important to me as a tertiary learner to use credible sources in my academic research and writing?
- Why is it or will it be important to me in my career to use credible sources in my professional research and writing?
- Compare the relative merits of two (2) sources about the same issue or topic that you have located, one with greater credibility than the other (e.g. a journal article vs a social media post). In your comparison you are to briefly explain:
- why one source is more credible than the other
- how this source would help you in your professional/career practice more than the less credible source.
Tertiary learning is basically the third stage of learning during a person's education (Ellington & Earl, 2009). This learning helps to gain a formal enhanced qualification and is specifically for those already pursuing a career in technical and hospitality fields such as Nursing. As part of tertiary learning courses, various research papers are written. In academic research, the most crucial aspect is learning and understanding from the correct source and using it appropriately in any research paper. If credible sources are used in research, they would be reliable, and this would provide a sense of confidence in the research. Any audience of an academic research or research journal would appreciate the effort that has been put into the research and its findings only if there are clarity and authority. This authority stems from using sources by established research scholars and by experts in the field – such sources are referred to as credible sources (UNISA, 2014).
With online sources and online education taking over most printed books, plagiarism and incorrect content has become so much more in the world of academia (Randall, 2001). There are various research papers and journals that can be found online written by those without sufficient expertise or experience in the fields. Many such sources are not well researched, and due to the lack of regulation in online content publishing, many such articles are written by those without any background in the field.
Also, being a tertiary learner, most knowledge is assimilated by the research papers that are read. If knowledge does not come from credible sources, the knowledge is also skewed or is improper (Dholakia & Sternthal, 2007). Sometimes when very outdated sources are used, the credibility of the source is lost since, due to time, most of the content and findings of the research becomes redundant. In subjects such as History, this may not hold true. But in subjects such as Technology or Finance where there are rapid developments, the need to use current sources becomes vital. To avoid all such scenarios, it is always better to use credible resources published by prominent publishing houses and written by experts in the field.
As part of my learning, research and understanding its outcomes are imperative. This knowledge gained as part of learning will help me in my career. I would be using these in everyday situations or understand and analyse situations. Learning from skewed sources will make my understanding of aspects of the subject superficial and will not help in my career. These sources are called skewed because many inexperienced writers create research papers and journals with a hidden agenda (Metzger,, et al., 2010). They try to promote their perspective, a theory they believe in or in a product that they are trying to promote. As a learner, if these research articles become my source of learning, unknowingly improper and partial learning would be the outcome.