Online access has provided readers with a wealth of information and opportunity. Readers can find articles quickly with searches and following their favorite bloggers. Writers can express their opinions, reaching larger audiences.
However, the saying “you can’t believe everything you read” proves especially true on the internet, and it’s essential to ensure that your young writers understand the importance of recognizing what validity is and building it into their site. Spend time reviewing the concept of validity and discussing different techniques students can use to create a relationship of trust and expertise with their audience.
What Is Blog Validity?
When readers pull up a blog, they have the opportunity to learn something new and enjoy various concepts and ideas. However, is it true? Can they trust the source and rely that what is on the page is accurate? These factors are the basis for validity and reliability. The University of Colorado State emphasizes that validity is, in fact, “the degree to which a study accurately reflects or assesses a specific concept.”
What does this mean to readers and writers? People must scrutinize the information closely, looking for evidence and support. If students decide to work on an article on the benefits of omega 3 supplements, they shouldn’t just write what they know but hunt down proof to support their data and ideas.
How Do Students Establish Validity?
As a teacher, remember that kids often need to hear people cheat the system. They may write content on a whim or off the cuff, hoping to build content. That path appears easy and tempting. Discuss the danger of this practice and how it leads to inaccuracies and invalid sources. Then, walk them through how to create their blog’s validity.
The University of Maryland emphasizes that validity involves “soundness of strength of argument.” The organization encourages students to consider the source they are reading and using. Is the author an expert in the field? Does evidence back up the source? Writers use information from others to indicate that their beliefs are valid and worthy of an audience. It’s essential that those references also have evidence and truth behind them.
When creating a blog, writers should back up their claims with other sources of evidence. Provide a range of sources and choose options with authority in the field. Don’t pick a personal blog for medical advice. Look for organizations with health experiences, especially medical degrees. If you’re writing about dogs, turn to national organizations that understand breed needs.
Use sources throughout the article. Remember to introduce a point. Provide evidence, and explain that source’s point by backing it up with personal anecdotes or explanations.
Evidence comes in different forms. Refer to other reliable online blogs, use scholarly research and provide mathematical statistics. You could also interview experts or provide personal stories. Mix and match to suit the needs of your purpose.
Consider having a compare and contrast lesson, reviewing two sites that discuss similar concepts. Show them how one author works hard to deliver accurate, reliable information while the other creates a general, weakly supported claim.
Have students then practice including various sources in their blogs. Encourage them to have at least one source for each claim or subheading, and practice linking to the source itself. In addition, ask that they try to include two to three different forms of evidence.
What Happens When You Fail To Establish Credibility?
When students fail to include the written evidence, they lose the trust of their audience members. The article may appear frivolous or fraudulent, and people then turn to other bloggers and readings. Eventually, students lose their following, and the blog isn’t about sharing with others; it becomes a means to store writing. Poor writing is likely to hurt them in their audience numbers and online ranking.
The web is a vast place filled with many writers. Encourage students to analyze websites and their own, understanding how to find good sources and produce accurate and trustworthy pieces.