The P.R.O.V.E.N test is a combination of six consecutive stages (i.e., Purpose, Relevance, Objectivity, Verifiability, Expertise, Newness) to make the writers aware of the credibility of each source that they use while drawing up their research.
Often, we do not provide much of our attention to evaluate the sources we use to support our argument. It happens since we tend to spot only the handful of similarities that the source retains with our research. In this way, we miss out on verifying the authenticity of it. Ultimately, this results in our research becoming vague, incoherent, or even biased incautiously.
Now, let’s see how the P.R.O.V.E.N test can help you evaluate any sources you encounter and preserve the authenticity of your research.
Suppose you are using a source for your research, and you want to review its authenticity. In this regard, your first task is to inspect – Why does this information exist? Is it for education purposes? Or is it only to persuade a group of audiences to sell these contents through entertainment? In this way, you can also perceive the intended audiences for this particular source and evaluate if you belong to this group. Generally, an authentic source will have a specific purpose stated by the author at the very beginning of their content. If you find it missing, then the best thing would be to get rid of it.
If the source makes it through the first stage of this evaluation test, you need to identify how significant the basis is for your research. At first, read the source carefully and figure out its suitability with your research. Then, compare it with another somewhat similar source and examine if the facts that have been used here are factual and authentic. In this way, you would find the source’s relevance with your research to help you make it more convincing.
You must know about the authors of your sources. An author’s professionalism and impartiality are two key components that make any research credible for all readers. In this step, find out how the author places the arguments. Even if the author critiques any issue in their content, examine if they are too subjective. Also, try to see if they are only showing one side of any particular issue. This can also help you to identify if the author is biased and belongs to any specific ideological category or not.
In this stage, you would examine the factual evidence that the author provides in the research. Go through the links and see if they have correctly done the referencing. Try to verify the information they have used by delving into other relevant and credible sources. Also, investigate the accuracy of the expert statements the authors have cited. Remember, it is easy to generate fabrication.
You need to find out How and Why the authors, publishers, or sponsors of the source have the whip hand on the topic. You need to check if they have related educational, personal, or professional expertise. Examine if the authors’ works have been acknowledged by any reputed organization and edited by a credible editors team. Additionally, you can check if the author is tied up with any educational institution or any respected organization. This will also lay down information about the organization’s purpose as well as their distinctive perspectives.
Lastly, determine your sources depending on the context of your research. If you are writing anything on current events, then your research topic would mainly require current information. In reverse, your research might require older information depending on the particular context you are addressing. For both of these cases, identify the publishing history of the information provided in the sources you opted for. Check if the references or links are up-to-date. Also, try to follow up with the latest information that might make your argument more convincing.
The P.R.O.V.E.N test intends to spruce up your critical thinking capacity. If you try to follow its six consecutive steps, it will surely make your research more accurate and complete your preferences more rationally. So, do not wait! Start your evaluation and boost your research credibility right away!