Source Evaluation Assignment

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  1. Say how you found it. What search engine or database did you use? What search phrases? Did you have to try out a few different phrases before you found the right ones?
  2. Describe the source
    • Briefly summarize the source’s main point or argument. This should capture the argument, not just describe the topic.
    • What type of source is this (ex: report, study, policy analysis, newspaper opinion-editorial or analysis, blog, etc.)?
    • Where was this piece published? (Think tank, news media, academic study, etc.)?
    • Is there an ideological bias in the publisher? Look at the “mission” or “about us” page. Then look up the source on (Links to an external site.) Why does this matter?
  3. Offer an assessment:
    • Write a brief paragraph explaining why you think the source is or is not well informed, well-reasoned, and accurate. Consider (but don’t answer individually) the following questions: Where did the author get their information? Are their sources of information credible or not? How do you know? Is the writer’s reasoning clear? Offer at least ONE example of the reasoning and evidence, and discuss how/why you find it to be credible and convincing.
    • Write a brief paragraph explaining why you think the author(s) is or is not credible. Who is the author/who wrote this? What do you know about their background and expertise? What makes them qualified or unqualified to write about the topic? How do you know/how did you find out? GOOGLE the author.
  4. Offer a reflection: How useful the source is to you and how will you use it? What might someone else reading this article get out of it, or how would that person find it useful? Would you use this source for your project? Why or why not? If you will use it, say how. Be specific here.
  5. Offer an evaluation of the source’s
    1. Logos: Are evidence and reasoning logical and credible?
    2. Ethos: Is the author and is the source credible? Why?
    3. Pathos: Is there an attempt to manipulate emotions?


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