Because your professor told you to! 

 Well, that’s important, but there are other really good reasons to use peer-reviewed articles other than just because it’s a class requirement.  Check out the points below and see for yourself:

1)   Quality

 When an article is peer-reviewed it means that experts on a subject have reviewed the article and given it a stamp of approval.  This review process is meant to make sure that journals publish articles of high quality. 

chart outlining the peer review process

The peer review process [Online image]. Elsevier. Retrieved Septemeber 23, 2015 from http://www.elsevier.com/reviewers/what-is-peer-review

So, peer-reviewed = thumbs up!  But, always remember to do your own critical thinking and ask yourself what you think about the article, its research findings, and its relevancy to your topic.

2)   Add Credibility to Your Argument

 Have you ever wondered how to strengthen your argument or how to convince your audience of a particular point?

 Peer-reviewed articles to the rescue!

 Using peer-reviewed articles in your argument or paper can increase your own credibility (or ethos) as a writer. Why? Because peer-reviewed articles are written and reviewed by experts.

3)   Recognize Larger Scholarly Conversations

 Ever feel like you’re writing a paper, but aren't sure what others are saying about your topic?

Peer-reviewed articles can help you learn about larger conversations, because they typically discuss other studies and research that have been done on a particular research question or topic.

 

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