life + learning banner

Can I Trust This Book?

Share

Life + Learning

  • Person with a questioning look on their face holding an open book.

Amy, Queen's Square | September 1, 2021

In a world where anyone can whip up a convincing-looking article online, and any big business head, public figure, or celebrity can traditionally publish a book – how do you know what to trust?

I understand the frustration; we are so overloaded with information being thrown at us from various sources these days, that it’s so hard to know who’s giving us the most objective truth.

Whenever you’re picking up a nonfiction book or article, there are a few things you should always be questioning and researching to help you judge the validity of that work:

  1. Consider the author!
    • Do they have the education or experience to write on this topic?
    • Are they affiliated with any organizations of capitalist ventures that could encourage biased writing?
    • What is the author’s motivation for writing this book?
  2. Consider the writing!
    • How much of the book contains facts and how much contains opinions/speculation (they can look similar)?
    • If sources, studies, or experiments are mentioned – research them! Do they appear reliable and logical?
    • How much dramatic language is used (this could hint at over exaggerations)?
  3. Consider the bigger picture! Research different perspectives and counter-arguments. This will help you form a more objective opinion on the topic – despite how convincing one author’s writing may be!