Factors to Consider: Prior Knowledge

degree1.JPG Still, one question bothers Val. Professor Sage specifically wanted students to choose a topic of personal interest. Does that mean she should include what she already knew about tattoos before doing her research?

Unsure, Val sends Professor Sage an e-mail. An hour later, she receives this response:

"Good question, Val! I ask that you only use scholarly sources for this paper. Scholarly sources are from experts on the topic. Therefore, it depends on whether or not you are an expert on tattoos! If you are an expert, then please include your credentials in the paper so that I know. If you're not an expert, then it's best to quote someone who is!"

Although Val is pretty confident in her knowledge of tattoos, she realizes that she doesn't have a degree or any formal experience to back it up. She decides to quote her sources instead.

The bottom line: Include your prior knowledge of the topic only if you can give credentials to back up your information. 



Image credit: Microsoft Clip Gallery


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