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ENG101: College Writing (Rua-Larsen): Identifying Authority

Identifying the Authorities on your Topic

We've identified your topic and its various components, but we need to identify the main authorities. Knowing who to consult for credible information is one of the most important things in research.

What is Authority

"Information resources reflect their creators' expertise and credibility" (ACRL 2015).


This essentially means that the resource you're looking at and using as a source of your research reflects the authors' credibility and expertise in the topic. This means you, too. When you incorporate expert research and sources in your papers, that reflects on your credibility as well.

Authority can be constructed through subject expertise (scholarship), social position (public office), and experience (participation in an event).

Who might be an authority on the topic of censorship and where will they be publishing their work?