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Evaluating Sources
To evaluate sources
effectively: 

 Read sources purposefully and take

purposeful notes. 

 Question the credibility,  re...
Read with a purpose: 

 Are you seeking out an overview of an issue,  a
detailed description of an event that relates to t...
Relevant questions: 

 What was the author’s purpose in writing
this piece? 

 What might be my purpose in using this
piece?
if}? 

:35

Question each source: 

Who is the writer? What else has this person written? 
What is the source’s genre? Who...
Take purposeful notes. 

 Record bibliographical information:  DO IT
WHILE THE SOURCE IS IN FRONT OF
YOU! ! Use the tools ...
Purposeful notes. ..

 Summarize the argument of each source or
the relevant content each source provides. 

 To avoid pla...
Purposeful notes. ..

 As you consider a source,  take notes of your own

ideas as they occur to you. 

 Consider recordin...
Evaluate for reliability. 

 When we ask if a source is reliable,  we are asking if
the source provides accurate facts and...
Evaluate credibility. 

 Is the author qualified to write on the topic? 

 What are the author’s credentials?  What
connect...
Evaluate the source’s
perspective. 

 Where is this writer coming from? This is a
key question each time you consider a

s...
Evaluate the source’s
intent. 

 To what extent is the author clearly taking a
persuasive stance on a contested position a...
Think critically about

Web sources. 
 The World Wide Web is not a library and all

sources are not equal,  so use the Web...
Types of Web sites: 

 . com =  commercial sites
 . org =  nonprofit organizations
 . edu =  educational sites

 . gov or. ...
Evaluate these sources: 

>l< http: //www. poetrfioundation. org/ bio/ lord-byron
>l< http: //neuroticpoets. com/ byron/ 
>...
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1123 evaluatingsources

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1123 evaluatingsources

  1. 1. Evaluating Sources
  2. 2. To evaluate sources effectively: Read sources purposefully and take purposeful notes. Question the credibility, reliability, perspective, and persuasive intent of each source you consider. Think critically about Web sources.
  3. 3. Read with a purpose: Are you seeking out an overview of an issue, a detailed description of an event that relates to the issue, a strong editorial opinion on the issue, expert analysis of the issue? Seek sources with a purpose. When you gather sources, be sure that each serves a purpose related to your project; select them carefully, then extract from them what you need. Read with your own goals in mind.
  4. 4. Relevant questions: What was the author’s purpose in writing this piece? What might be my purpose in using this piece?
  5. 5. if}? :35 Question each source: Who is the writer? What else has this person written? What is the source’s genre? Who is the intended audience? What is the author’s purpose? How is the writer trying to change the reader’s view of the topic? What is the author’s vantage point or bias on this topic? What facts, data, and other evidence does this author cite? What are the author’s underlying values and beliefs? Has anything been omitted or censored from this text?
  6. 6. Take purposeful notes. Record bibliographical information: DO IT WHILE THE SOURCE IS IN FRONT OF YOU! ! Use the tools at your fingertips to record the relevant information. PRINT entire articles from databases and Web sources.
  7. 7. Purposeful notes. .. Summarize the argument of each source or the relevant content each source provides. To avoid plagiarism, put any exact language into quotation marks when you are taking notes AND be sure to use all original wording when you do not take word for word notes from the source.
  8. 8. Purposeful notes. .. As you consider a source, take notes of your own ideas as they occur to you. Consider recording notes in two documents open at the same time or on two separate pages open at once: one for informal notes and your own responses and ideas; the other for formal notes of the source’s words and ideas.
  9. 9. Evaluate for reliability. When we ask if a source is reliable, we are asking if the source provides accurate facts and statistics, presents evidence honestly (rather than skewing it in favor of one position), acknowledges conflicts of opinion or controversies related to the issue, etc. 41 For example, is an author reliable who writes an essay arguing that watching television damages chi| dren’s psychological health, and cites statistics gathered in a survey sponsored by People for the Eradication ofTe| evision to support the claim?
  10. 10. Evaluate credibility. Is the author qualified to write on the topic? What are the author’s credentials? What connection does the author have to the topic or issue at hand?
  11. 11. Evaluate the source’s perspective. Where is this writer coming from? This is a key question each time you consider a source. What is this writer's political perspective? What values and beliefs underly everything this writer commits to paper?
  12. 12. Evaluate the source’s intent. To what extent is the author clearly taking a persuasive stance on a contested position as opposed to adopting a more neutral and exploratory tone regarding the topic? To what extent is the author invested in persuading the reader as opposed to seeking truth? Consider selection of evidence, interpretation of data, and fairness to opposing views.
  13. 13. Think critically about Web sources. The World Wide Web is not a library and all sources are not equal, so use the Web sparingly and cautiously when gathering sources for any serious, academic endeavor, and do note your instructor or professor's attitude toward Web based sources and act accordingly.
  14. 14. Types of Web sites: . com = commercial sites . org = nonprofit organizations . edu = educational sites . gov or. mil sites = government agency, military units
  15. 15. Evaluate these sources: >l< http: //www. poetrfioundation. org/ bio/ lord-byron >l< http: //neuroticpoets. com/ byron/ >l< http: //en. wikipedia. org/ wiki/ Lord Byron >l< http: //www. internationalbyronsocietxorg/ index. php? option= com frontpage&| temid= | >l< http: //www. shmoop. com/ |ord-byron/

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