Anthropology

Start Free Trial

Was Dennis O'Neil a credible author in writing the article "Hidden Aspects of Communication"?

Overall, Dennis O’Neil’s article titled "Hidden Aspects of Communication" is credible. O'Neil could be faulted for not citing specific sources or other thinkers on paralanguage, yet overall, he presents his ideas clearly. His thoughts on how clothes, tone, and bodies can be forms of communication are sensible and credible.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

One way to gauge credibility is by applying what you already know. The more you know, the easier it is to determine the credibility of something.

Remember, Dennis O’Neil starts off his article by writing, “Communication is far more than speech and writing.” That links to ideas that most people are already familiar with, noticing by observation or having read books and articles that discuss how communication is much more than words. After one sentence, the reader gets the sense that O'Neil is credible.

Yet doubts arise in the next paragraph. In the second paragraph, O’Neil talks about linguists and the notion of “paralanguage.” Yet O’Neil never mentions any linguist by name. When looking at the bibliography, it is rather threadbare. To be credible, it’s good to cite specific names. It’s even better to have a robust bibliography.

Yet those qualms aren’t enough to conclude that O’Neil lacks the credibility to write this article. He speaks about body language, tone, and other key components of ancillary communication clearly and thoroughly. His charts and pictures also help support his concepts. Lack of sources aside, Dennis O’Neil is likely credible.

Another way to help determine if an author is credible is by checking their credentials and levels of experience.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team