Readings about Rhetoric & Argumentation
32 Assessing Source Credibility for Crafting a Well-Informed Argument
Kate Warrington, Natasha Kovalyova, & Cindy King
Kate Warrington, Natasha Kovalyova, and Cindy King’s article, “Assessing Source Credibility for Crafting a Well-Informed Argument” comes from the open textbook project Writing Spaces. This article walks students through how to use critical reading strategies to help select credible sources for research papers and helps them understand how critical reading assignments they may have completed earlier in the semester have prepared them for the difficult task of selecting sources. Through analysis of how logos, ethos, and pathos are used in potential sources, students will understand that these persuasive techniques can influence the overall credibility of a source. Seven questions are presented that aid in critical reading, and examples of student writing are provided that demonstrate the connection between the use of persuasive techniques and their effect on the credibility of a particular source. The chapter concludes with a brief evaluation of two internet sources on the topic of animal shelters, providing students with an anchor for evaluating sources as they prepare their own research papers (Writing Spaces).
Read Kate Warrington, Natasha Kovalyova, and Cindy King’s article “Assessing Source Credibility for Crafting a Well-Informed Argument.”
Keywords from this chapter in Writing Spaces
sources, , ,
Kate Warrington received her PhD in composition and rhetoric from the University of Louisville. She was an assistant professor at Lindsey Wilson College and UNT Dallas before becoming the Director of General Education Operations at Western Governors University. Kate’s research interests have included methodological ethics, narrative theory, and ethnographic writing.
Natasha (Natalia) Kovalyova is Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of North Texas at Dallas. Her areas of expertise include communication studies, rhetoric and language and political communication. Her research interests at UNT Dallas, which she joined in 2010, focus on “the intersections of discourse, power and persuasion in a variety of contexts, from presidential communication to media reporting to interpersonal communication. Her recent research focuses on the emergent public forums and the rise of authoritarian voice in post-communist societies.”
Dr. Cynthia P. King has been a Furman faculty member in the Department of Communication Studies since 2006. [ . . . . ] Race, public discourse, and media are her current research interests. She teaches courses in public speaking, rhetoric, African American rhetoric, and race and media. She co- created and co-led the Ghana Study Away May X in 2017. In 2015, she was awarded Furman’s Meritorious Teaching Award. [ . . . . ]
(related to ethos) the author's or text's state of being reliable and trustworthy
refers to the reputation or believability of a speaker/rhetor; ethical appeals tap into the values or ideologies that the audience holds (audience values) or appeals that lean on the reputation or believability of the speaker/author (authorial credibility)
the thoughtful development of logically sound, carefully constructed assertions that are formed after the diligent consideration of numerous positions