Writers depend on credibility statements to establish their authority on a subject. As the term implies, the statement should bolster the credibility of the writer. In a research article, a credibility statement usually appears at the top or bottom of a piece so that a reader can easily assess the writer's bona fides. In an essay, a credibility statement usually appears right after the thesis statement.
A credibility statement is a succinct paragraph, and it must be on-topic. For example, a physician who is writing an article on the value of taking vitamin C during the winter might supply the following credibility statement: “Cara Michaels graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 2002. Her Oak Brook medical practice, Here's To Your Health, specializes in holistic care and the use of vitamins.” Note how this credibility statement is devoid of any extraneous information. Like many people, Michaels probably has other interests, qualifications and experiences, but only those that are relevant to her article on vitamins are included.
Credibility statements written for essays usually are integrated in the body of the essay itself. For example, if you were to write an essay on your summertime experience of operating a pet-walking business, you would write a thesis statement and then follow it with a credibility statement. This logical organization provides the reader with a helpful one-two punch by establishing early on the theme you are going to address in your paper and why you are qualified to write about it. In this case, a credibility statement might address the scope of your summertime entrepreneurship and maybe -- for a personable touch -- your love of pets.
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