The Importance of Investigating the Author

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Interior of a Dorm room

JEFF1
What's up, man?

JEFF2
How's our film paper going?

JEFF1
Almost done. I just need to find that review quote that we need. It's not easy to find a good credible source.

JEFF2
What? Why?

JEFF1
You know, "The Human Centipede" is a bad horror movie. Not a lot of good critics probably watched it. I'm trying to find a good one.

JEFF2
Well, I found one that I like. I think I want to quote it.

JEFF1
Yeah? Who is it?

JEFF2
Does it matter?

JEFF1
Yeah, man. That's kind of the point. I mean, I could write it and put it online.

JEFF2
Well, the author is some dude named "Coventry."

JEFF1 gives a little sideways glance back at his computer. He's skeptical.

JEFF1
Yikes. "Coventry"? Where's he writing from?

JEFF2
Well, he says he's from "the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls." Uh, it's a user review from IMDB.

JEFF1
There you go!

JEFF2
What? It's fine. I mean, he's got a good quote. Listen to this:

(quoting Coventry)

"I usually say that I'm constantly looking for new horror and cult movies that go far beyond expectancy patterns and commonly used themes. 'The Human Centipede' definitely fits into that category."

It's good for our paper, right?

JEFF1
Sure, if you want it to suck. That's just some guy's personal review. Where's he coming from? What's he writing for, other than to just put his opinion on the internet?

JEFF2
Well, his account lists over 2,800 reviews on IMDB, plus around 200 up-votes.

JEFF1
Heh! That's all? Well, it's an impressive output, but there's no guideline for those. I'm looking for a critic that has professional standards.

Like, check it, this one from Roger Ebert. He's got a good quote, too.

(quoting Ebert's review)

". . . is a film true to its genre and does it deliver what its audiences presumably expect? 'The Human Centipede' scores high on this scale. It is depraved and disgusting enough to satisfy the most demanding midnight movie fan."

And it's not a user review from the internet, he's a professional writer for the Chicago Sun-Times.

JEFF2
I guess.

JEFF1
Yeah, well, let's look him up and find more about him... he's been a professional critic for over 40 years, has published over a dozen books on film, hosted the longest running TV show on film commentary, and is the only person to get a Pulitzer Prize for film criticism.

Sounds more impressive than 200 up-votes, to me.

JEFF2
Yep, you're right.

JEFF1
I mean, you have to take into account where someone is coming from when citing their work. Their expertise and reputation have a lot to do with the credibility of the information. No matter what source you're using, you've got to ask these questions: Who is the author? What are their credentials or contact information? What have they written before? Are they an expert? What do others think of them?

JEFF2
I understand. I understand that You Rock!

JEFF2 high-fives JEFF1.

JEFF1
I know. Now cite that guy and print it out. People are starting to looking at us.

JEFF2
Oh yeah, do you think I talk to myself too much?

JEFF1
Probably.