Accuracy Determining the accuracy of support can be difficult if you are not an

Accuracy determining the accuracy of support can be

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Accuracy Determining the accuracy of support can be difficult if you are not an expert in a given area, but here are some questions to ask yourself to help assess a source’s accuracy: Does the information within one piece of supporting evidence completely contradict other supporting evidence you’ve seen? If the support is using a statistic, does the supporting evidence explain where that statistic came from and how it was determined? Does the logic behind the support make sense? Authority The second way to use support in building your credibility is to cite authoritative sources—those who are experts on the topic. *Expertise is defined having two senses. In his definition, the first sense of expertise is “knowledge in or about a particular field, and statements about it generally take the form, ‘S is an expert in or about D.’… The second sense of expertise refers to domains of demonstrable skills, and statements about it generally take the form, ‘S is an expert at skill D.’

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COMM 1110 Fall 2019 * Thus, to be an expert, someone needs to have considerable knowledge on a topic or considerable skill in accomplishing something. You don’t have to answer “yes” to all the preceding questions to conclude that a source is credible, but a string of “no” answers should be a warning signal. Currency The third consideration in using support to build your credibility is how current the information is. *Some ideas stay fairly consistent over time, like the date of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor or the mathematical formula for finding the area of a circle, but other ideas change wildly in a short period of time, including ideas about technology, health treatments, and laws. *Although we never want to discount classic supporting information that has withstood the test of time, as a general rule for most topics, it is recommended that information be less than five years old . *Here is just a general guideline and can change depending on the topic. If you’re giving a speech on the history of mining in West Virginia, then you may use support from sources that are much older. However, if you’re discussing a medical topic, then your support information should probably be from the past five years or less. Some industries change even faster, so the best support may come from the past month. Objectivity The last question you should ask yourself when examining support is whether the person or organization behind the information is objective or biased. *Bias refers to a predisposition or preconception of a topic that prevents impartiality. *Although there is a certain logic to the view that every one of us is innately biased, as a credible speaker, you want to avoid just passing along someone’s unfounded bias in your speech. Ideally you would use support that is unbiased.
COMM 1110 Fall 2019 You don’t have to have all “no” or “yes” responses to decide on bias. However, being aware of the possibility of bias and where your audience might see bias will help you to select the best possible support to include in your speech.

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• Spring '12
• Callison

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