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Variations in Accuracy

Variations in Accuracy

Author: Sophia Tutorial

Choose reliable sources when researching in order to assure your speech's accuracy

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what's covered
In this lesson, you will learn about how to ensure accuracy in your speech. Specifically, this lesson will cover:
  1. Why Is Accuracy Important?
  2. Are Your Sources "Good"?
  3. A Word About Plagiarism

1. Why Is Accuracy Important?

If you are presenting yourself as a subject matter expert or authority, it's imperative that you have your facts straight before delivering them to a waiting audience.

In the age of fact-checking, it's especially important to make sure that you have done your homework and fully researched your topic and supporting evidence because chances are, your audience already has.

You will only enhance your credibility and authority by making sure your information and sources are solid and accurate.

term to know
Exact conformity to truth, or to a rule or model; degree of conformity of a measure to a true or standard value.

2. Are Your Sources "Good"?

How do you know if your sources are "good?" You'll want to make sure your sources are reliable, unbiased, and current. To do this, seek out information from trustworthy sources. Typically, you'll turn to scholarly sources such as academic journals, scientific research, or data. You should also understand that scholarly research comes in primary and secondary sources.

A primary source is an original document containing content and data created or collected by the author. Primary sources can include interviews you conduct to gain information and data, collections of letters, lab reports, autobiographical, and literary works. Secondary sources are written about primary sources and include documents such as reviews, critiques, biographies, and other scholarly books or journal articles.

To find academic and scholarly sources, asking your local librarian is one of the best ways to validate whether or not a source you have found is reliable, unbiased, and current.

You can also access databases of scholarly sources online, including:

  • Academic Search Premier
  • Project MUSE
  • Entrez-PubMed
  • The MLA International Bibliography
  • PsychINFO
  • ProQuest

3. A Word About Plagiarism

Always cite your sources whenever or however you can. You never want to be accused of pulling information or data from an unreliable source, or worse yet, just making it up.

You also don't want to be accused of directly lifting, stealing, or even borrowing someone else's words. Never take someone else's words and claim them as your own.

In this lesson, you learned the importance of using quality sources such as journal articles, reviews, biographies, and interviews to ensure accuracy and credibility. You can find scholarly sources collected in several online databases. Always cite your sources when and how you can so that you're never accused of plagiarism.

Source: Boundless. "Variations in Accuracy." Boundless Communications Boundless, 14 Mar. 2017. Retrieved 22 May. 2017 from

Terms to Know

Exact conformity to truth, or to a rule or model; degree of conformity of a measure to a true or standard value.