Writing seeks to educate the reader of knowledge, but people may doubt the veracity of claims made in a piece if there is no popular and reliable voice referenced in the write-up. And that is where an Authoritative source comes in.

An authoritative source is a piece written by a person of competence and published on a popular platform known for expertise in the field and authenticity. Instances are pieces that describe an event first-hand, without an opposing view. Other sources should be research articles, websites verified by the government, reputable news websites, and books by famous authors.

A significant characteristic of an authoritative source is that it can be verified independently.

How to Identify Authoritative Sources

To be sure a source is an authority in the field of interest, the following boxes should be ticked.

  • Is the piece without bias?
  • What qualifications does the author have, and is it relevant and recognized?
  • What audience is the author targeting?
  • Has the write-up passed the review?
  • Any references attached?

How to Find Authoritative Sources?

There are three primary ways of getting trusted sources. They include:

The Library

You can get many materials at the local library. A lot of reliable pieces are available offline and can give you the information you desire. The information obtained may be outdated, but it can be instrumental in helping you search for more updated information.

This may be far-fetched, but try to avoid older sources as much as possible. You can start at the local college library to get a head start.


A relevant way to get information that is up to date can be through online search engines, notably Google. However, this means of searching is risky because many unverified outlets post their work on Google. An example of this outlet is Wikipedia. You can find Wikipedia at the top of search results. However, Wikipedia can be edited by anybody, and data can include work in progress, scholarly articles, etc. The good thing about Wikipedia is that references are added at the bottom, and you can get directions from there.

The best way is to read and understand the sources before you quote them.

Find the Expert

This method is the last and also the most effective. Finding an expert in the field you’re writing about is essential. An easy step to track down the expert is to search for new articles authored by the expert. You can also get writeups where the expert was credited in the piece too.

For some people, quoting the article isn’t enough; you need to make it relevant to the text you’re writing.


Authoritative sources take hard work to dig up, but they are valuable and make your work appear credible and authentic. Continue doing valuable research, and add the essential links to your work. If a customer reads your work and it seems high quality, they will want to work with you.



Get a FREE consultation.

Book a Free Consult