3 Tips for Working with Reliable Online Resources

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When your students are building their essays, they're going to need outside resources to help them flesh out their topics and supplement their writing. But one of the most difficult factors when you're a young writer is knowing which resources to trust  online and which ones you can rely on that provide strong value. While we're lucky to have so many options at our fingertips today, with that variety, we need to be selective to make sure we choose the best ones available to us.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference, so here are 3 tips you can follow to ensure you make the most out of reliable online resources:

Make Sure Your Sources are Reputable

Think of this one like checking your resource’s credentials. Look around online and find out the frequency that a particular website or publication is cited by other writers. You’ll also want to check how these writers cite your source as well. If it is used widely and often by professionals, it's probably because it has a proven track record and can usually be trusted. If it doesn't seem to have much of a footprint online at all, that could be a red flag that you need to look more closely at the source’s reliability.

Bookmark Resources with Relevant Content

Depending on the topic of your writing, you’ll want to find resources that are dedicated to subject matter relevant to your essay and research. Not only will you find content that goes into greater detail about your topic, you're likely to find plenty of related articles too, so you don't have to go all over the place looking for what you need. If you find a resource centered around your subject of interest, save it in your bookmarks and make it a go-to as you write your paper for both inspiration and citations when needed.

Use Current, Up-to-Date Resources

The odds are pretty good that whatever your subject may be, you’ve noticed other people have written on it before. And they probably even used resources that came before them! Try to find online resources that take into account prior work done on your subject. This way, you're getting material that is up-to-date, but that takes into account how our understanding of a subject has grown over time. By doing so, your writing will be relevant and interesting to your audience, while being as accurate as possible.

Have any tips you've found for finding reliable online resources that we haven't covered? Share a comment with us below!