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Quality of a scholarly paper largely depends on the sources used in it. Distinguishing between a thought of a scientist based on facts and a simply informed opinion is crucial for a successful investigation. Ability to define the value and credibility of the sources is one of the valuable skills every researcher must possess. Of course, there are different kinds of academic papers, but certain standards can be regarded as unified for this variety.
The initial phase of correct evaluation of the source is a choice of assessing strategies. CARS (Credibility, Accuracy, Reasonableness and Support) Checklist Method can be regarded as an effective one, for it helps determining crucial features of a certain source even prior to reading it explaining a lot of information based on the structure of the written material. It also enables to analyze multiple content factors supporting or not favoring credibility. A simple ProQuest source-evaluating instruction based on such criteria as appearance, content and publishing can also be of use as a preliminary assessment strategy. It is based on comparison and provides immediate examples aiding future scholars.
Articles “Health and Wellness: The Shift from Managing Illness to Promoting Health” and “Comparison of Health Care System Views and Experiences in Five Nations, 2001” pertain to the sphere of health care management and have a range of common and distinctive features in terms of scientific value and credibility. They were both published in the same brief review section. A common disappointing factor for them is the absence of author’s credentials, one of the important markers of the source’s credibility. The articles, however, were both written with organizational support, which partly eliminates the previous drawback. Both articles have contact information of the publishers and apply references, although in “Health and Wellness” there is a separate section for it, and the other article presents them as acknowledgements. A reader can observe no formal structure in either of the articles except for data source or methodology and summaries. As for the reasonableness analysis, both articles can be assessed as bias-free. Absence of bias in “Health and Wellness” is proved by the fact that the authors provide an opposite opinion (particularly, mentioning the idea of privacy violation). “Comparison of Health Care System” was also aimed at presenting facts only.
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Distinctive credibility features of the articles are more numerous. Particularly, they are presented by the discrepancy in timeliness characteristics, for the first article presents more up-to-date information. It is a great informative advantage, as some spheres evolve so rapidly that opinions popular a decade ago might completely lose their significance in the current circumstances. On the other hand, though there are several years between the articles at the time they were published they were topical. However, what “Health and Wellness” lacks is scientific integrity. The article incorporates some quotes by the officials which substantially decrease the formal tone of writing. Bright illustrations also make the article look more casual. The second article, on the contrary, presents plain facts, results of the research. Amount of information grouped in tables and clear informative subsections in “Comparison of Health Care System” contributes to its credibility. The scale of research in this article is also larger, as it engages several countries. Separate methodology subsection is definitely a credibility enhancing feature of the article.
As a result of comparison, it can be concluded that although none of the articles can be ascribed to popular magazines, “Comparison of Health Care System Views and Experiences in Five Nations, 2001” has a more organized layout of a scientific kind. Some of credibility and support parameters according to CARS Checklist Method are complied with in both sources, but the general tone of “Health and Wellness: The Shift from Managing Illness to Promoting Health” suggests that its audience is broader, and the results of the investigation are more informed opinions on the social issue than outcomes of a scholarly study.
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