Define the term “authority.” What does it mean to be authoritative, and how do you go about establishing whether a source is, indeed, credible? Why is it important to not only invite authorities to speak in your writing, but also to establish your own authority as you write?
Authority by definition: the power to give orders or make decisions, or the power or right to direct or control someone or something, or the confident quality of someone who knows a lot about something or who is respected or obeyed by other people (Merriam-Webster, 2010).
Figures of authority are extraordinarily significant to the credibility within any paper. Including citation from members of society with an advanced skill set will not only solidify proposed ideas, but can also aid in swaying an argument (Ballenger, 17). Valid credibility can go a long way in improving the impact a piece makes on its reader.
While it is important to include factual information of the writer’s proposed idea, it is equally important to establish a voice within the piece. Each article of information that comes from a professional standpoint can be a stepping stone towards the finished product of the writer’s work. Weaving an authoritative voice simultaneously strengthens the paper as well as the validity of the writer’s work.
Lastly, citing authoritative individuals in a piece will grant the permission of their facts without sending the writer towards plagiarism. Although it is often unintentional, plagiarism happens quite frequently. It is imperative to the writer that citations of an authority figure (ie: scholars, researchers, critics, or specialists) are included in their piece to ensure the professionalism of their message can be brought to light using convincing sources.
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