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Melissa LaCroix


English 1102

1 April 2019

Worthy vs. Convenient Sources

Sources are outlets that are used to give people more knowledge on any given topic.

Finding a source is easy but determining weather it is credible and reliable is the hard part. There

are different options to explore to help figure out how credible a source is. Looking up on the

Author, Publisher, and depth of the content will show insight on where the evidence came from

and who wrote it. The source article "Health Reform and Theories of Cost Control" by Erin C.

Fuse Brown is more credible than the newspaper article "Mental Health Treatment Denied to

Customers by Giant Insurance Policies, Judge Rules" by Reed Abelson, while both authors use

other references, Erin Brown is a more reliable author and her use of references give points that

improve her argument and make her article more credible.

Academic sources and articles uploaded online may have the same destination, but who

wrote them and where it came from is what makes the source valuable. To understand how

credible a source is you need to know how credible the author is. I chose an article from the

health section of the New York Times and an article found in the Health and Medicine academic

database. The author of the New York Times post is Reed Abelson. Reed received her AB in

English from Bryn Mawr College and the only other thing that I could find is that she is a

reporter for the New York Times who covers the business and financial aspects behind health

care. Reed does have knowledge on this topic and from her education posted she knows how to
write a journal with information, but it sparks concern that she is writing a article for people to

read in the newspaper not really to provide facts for research.

The author of the Scholarly Academic Journal, Erin C. Fuse Brown, is a Professor of Law

at Georgia State University. Her findings have been published in numerous scholarly articles and

she attended Dartmouth College where she has a BA and a JD from Georgetown University Law

Center. Her focus is on health care protection with patients and the finances in the medical field.

Erin has a lot of references from people and her work is included in many different publications.

This helps proves that her work is reliable and accessible. She is recommended by many

publishers and she is one of the new authors for the eighth edition of Health and Law. Having the

credentials makes the content more trustworthy and will give the reader the assumption that the

evidence is in fact valuable.

Not only does authorship play a role in understanding the credibility of a source but the

publisher as well. Erin’s article was published by Wiley Blackwell which is a scientific, medical

scholarly journal. Wiley Blackwell is partnered with more than eight hundred corporations to

deliver the best information. Reed Abelson’s article is published by the New York Times. On

one side the New York Times is a reliable newspaper source but unlike Wiley Blackwell it does

not peer review all its publications. Also, newspaper articles are published to give the public

something to read. It is not out there to help prove facts but more so to give a story. The peer

reviewed journal at the end of the day is always going to be more credible because it was

published by being reviewed to prove accurate findings.

Using other resources in your work makes the argument denser and more useful. Erin

refers to sixty-one different references which is useful because you are only as good as your

sources. Even though Erin has education and knowledge in the health care field, she refers to
other professionals to back up her claims. In the article I picked by Erin, it talks about how

Medicare effects people and when the downfall started to occur. Erin cites L.O. Gostin, that

“Following the election of President Trump and Republican majorities in both houses of

Congress in 2016, political debate focused on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act

(ACA), also known as Obamacare. The topline analysis of any Republican bill to repeal and

replace the ACA centered on the pro-posal’s impact on access — the number of people who

would lose health coverage"(Brown 846). In other words, Erin, with evidence is backing up the

effect Medicare would have on people if it was taken away completely. The fact that Erin

understands the facts and the issues of this topic and still quotes other references leads me to

believe that her article is a reliable source of information.

It is not hard to tell that both authors have knowledge about the health care field and

understand what they are writing about. In Reed Abelson’s article, she uses facts about a specific

situation to prove her argument. The issue with that is that unlike Erin, she is not using other

references to establish credibility in her argument. Yes, he article has evidence that contributes to

the claim but not having professional back up does not establish reliability in the article. She

does quote a doctor which can be argued as a credible source but not having valid publications

makes the overall source questioned on credibility. Reed Abelson starts off her finding by

saying” a federal judge in Northern California ruled that a unit of UnitedHealth Group, the giant

health insurer, had created internal policies aimed at effectively discriminating against patients

with mental health and substance abuse disorders to save money"(Abelson 1). The evidence is

there but it is very general.

Lastly, the depth of the content is what truly makes a source credible. It is easy to find a

website or article with facts and general information but if the content does not have quality
behind it then all that evidence really does not mean much when looking for scholarly points.

The key word is scholarly. Finding facts that have no ownership behind them does not allow us

to use as a reliable source of evidence. Obviously both authors used evidence to prove their

claims. The newspaper article was written to only inform while the article by Erin Brown was

and can be used to support an arguable topic. The New York Times may be more concerned

about staying neutral because it has a reputation to maintain. The scholarly source is more biased

since it wants you to understand the facts and use it to argue a topic. Having multiple outlets

such as Erin had, shows that there was variety behind her research and that anything reliable was

used to increase her own credibility.

In conclusion, the peer reviewed, scholarly source is going to be more credible source.

While both authors have credentials about writing articles with evidence, having multiple

references and longer articles gives more reliability when researching a topic. Erin had multiple

references a credible publisher and overall went more in depth with what she was talking about.

That does not mean that the newspaper article does not have evidence that can be used to prove a

point. We just need to make sure that we look up where the evidence came from and who

wrote/published it to understand the sources credibility.

Works Cited:
Brown, Erin C.Fuse. “Health Reform and Theories of Cost Control.” Journal of Law,
Medicine & Ethics, vol. 46, no. 4, Winter 2018, pp. 846–856. EBSCOhost,
Abelson, Reed. "Mental Health Treatment Denied to Customers by Giant Insurer's
Policies, Judge Rules." New York Times, 5 Mar. 2019,
03/05/health/unitedhealth-mental-health-parity.html. Accessed 20 Mar. 2019