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Authority Integration Kit


People can develop authority or expertise in many different ways. Education, life experience, employment history & credentials, research experience, and other factors contribute to the level of any individual’s authority. No one is an authority on everything and expertise can be an easy thing to fake, especially in an online environment.

This activity is designed to help your students develop a habit of looking for an author’s expertise. Judging an article or a website based on the author’s qualifications to write on the subject is a good way to assess the value and relevance of any piece of writing. Students will read an opinion article and assess its quality based on the author’s authority.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will use indicators of authority to evaluate information resources in order to successfully determine if they are relevant and/or appropriate for use in academic research.
  • Students will evaluate the authority of a source given the context in which the information was created and is being used.

A librarian can come to your class to run this lesson for you, or a librarian can customize a lesson for your class based around your unit of study or assignment requirements. Please contact us if you are interested in this option.

If you prefer to cover this information literacy topic on your own, you will find all the plans and materials you need below.

Class Materials

This activity is designed to help your students evaluate an article based on the author’s background. Searching for an author’s qualifications is a great way to start to assess the value and relevance of any piece of writing, not just an opinion piece. Encourage your students to do this for all source material.