This is a wonderful and important question. A lot of the information I use comes from notes and text books that I read while studying such topics. In order to be taught in classes by PHD professors, it has to be rigorously investigated and proved by many sources, so I accept what my professors have to say. Not to say I don’t do my own research, I often do. One thing I am really wary of is using Wikipedia. I do like it, because it gives a great overview of a subject to be researched. It gives a good start, but is by no means definitive. If I use it as a source, I have read the page, and have done previous research about it. To make sure that you are using good sources I recommend using academic sites, like Jstor. If you just search Google and find a site that has some good info I would check to see if it is peer reviewed, check the background of the author of the site, and try to find other reputable sources to corroborate the claims. In short, it takes a lot of staring and a computer screen, reading, note taking, and searching. It certainly isn’t fun, but it is important if you really want to make some good claims. Then if someone wants to question your validity, it is a welcome question.
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