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Touchstone 2.1: Evaluate a Source

Touchstone 2.1: Evaluate a Source

ASSIGNMENT: For this essay, you will select one of the sources you have found through your preliminary research about your research topic. Which source you choose is up to you; however, it should be substantial enough that you will be able to talk about it at length, and intricate enough that it will keep you (and your reader) interested. Once you have chosen a source, you will evaluate the source on two levels:

Credibility: Using the information in this unit as a guide, evaluate the source’s authenticity and reliability.

Usefulness: Using a combination of summary and analysis, examine the source on a critical level.Sample Touchstone 2.1

In order to foster learning and growth, all essays you submit must be newly written specifically for this course. Any recycled work will be sent back with a 0, and you will be given one attempt to redo the Touchstone.

  1. Assignment Guidelines

DIRECTIONS: The introduction of this paper will involve introducing the source. Provide the author, the title, and the context (where you found the source, where it was originally published, who sponsored it, etc.) Recall that a thesis statement states your position and an overview of your reasons. For this assignment, include a thesis statement stating whether your source is or is not useful for your research and why.

You will then go on to evaluate the source on two levels:

Credibility: Using the information in this unit as a guide, evaluate the source’s authenticity and reliability. Look at all the information that you can find about the source to establish the author’s (or sponsor’s) trustworthiness. Did the author include his or her own sources? Do you see the author’s credentials?

Usefulness: Using a combination of summary and analysis, examine the source on a critical level. Determine what the source’s purpose (thesis) is, and how it arrives at that goal. Examine its value to you and the project you are working on. How will it help you prove your own points? How does it address your research question? How might it come in handy to back up a claim (or address a counter-claim)? Are there any special features in this source? For example, does it use visuals or graphs? Is it current?

Finally, you will include a conclusion which shows your final assessments on both counts.

Keep in mind: Refer to the list below throughout the writing process. Do not submit your Touchstone until it meets these guidelines.

Source Identification

❒ Have you provided the author’s name?

❒ Have you provided the source title?

❒ Have you provided the context (where you found the source, where it was originally published, who sponsored it, etc.)?

Source Evaluation

❒ Have you provided a judgment on the source’s credibility?

❒ Have you used specific examples from the source to illustrate your judgment on credibility?

❒ Have you provided a judgment on the source’s usefulness?

❒ Have you used specific examples from the source to illustrate your judgment on usefulness?

  1. Reflection Questions Guidelines

DIRECTIONS: Below your assignment, include answers to all of the following reflection questions.What types of questions did you ask yourself when evaluating the credibility and usefulness of your source? (2-3 sentences)

How do you feel this evaluation practice will help you as you continue to move through the research process? (2-3 sentences)

Keep in mind: Refer to the list below throughout the writing process. Do not submit your Touchstone until it meets these guidelines.

❒ Have you answered all reflection questions thoughtfully and included insights, observations, and/or examples in all responses?

❒ Are your answers included on a separate page below the main assignment?

  1. Requirements

The following requirements must be met for your submission to be graded:

  • Composition must be 2-3 pages (approximately 500-750 words).
  • Double-space the composition and use one-inch margins.
  • Use a readable 12-point font.
  • All writing must be appropriate for an academic context.
  • Composition must be original and written for this assignment.
  • Plagiarism of any kind is strictly prohibited.
  • Include your source information in the appropriate APA formatting (see the resources section if you need a review).
  • Submission must include your name, the name of the course, the date, and the title of your composition.
  • Include all of the assignment components in a single file.
    • Acceptable file formats include .doc and .docx.
  1. Additional Resources

The following resources will be helpful to you as you work on this assignment:

  1. Purdue Online Writing Lab’s APA Formatting and Style Guide
  1. This site includes a comprehensive overview of APA style, as well as individual pages with guidelines for specific citation types.
  1. Frequently Asked Questions About APA Style
  • . This page on the official APA website addresses common questions related to APA formatting. The “References,” “Punctuation,” and “Grammar and Writing Style” sections will be the most useful to your work in this course.
  1. APA Style: Quick Answers—References
  • . This page on the official APA Style website provides numerous examples of reference list formatting for various source types.
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