Presentation on theme: "Analyzing Sources. Purpose of Source Provide background information or context Explain terms or concepts Provide evidence for your argument Lend."— Presentation transcript:
Purpose of Source Provide background information or context Explain terms or concepts Provide evidence for your argument Lend authority to your argument Offer counterevidence and other interpretations
Types of Electronic Sources Abstract: summary of a work Excerpt: first few sentences/paragraphs Full text PDF (exact copy of print document)** HTML (text file, not paginated)
Difficulties in Using Sources Bias Credibility of Sources Currency of Information Complexity Conflicting Information Amount (too much, too little)
Bias Political Religious Cultural Philosophical Research-based
Activity Newspaper Headlines Obama peddles modest American dream on campaign trail Obama’s campaign travel raises money and criticism Obama’s trip West fills his campaign coffers Obama takes ‘made-in-US’ message to Midwest What do you think the bias is of the author/newspaper? Are they for or against Obama?
Credibility: Can you trust statistics?
Web Site Evaluation AuthorPurposeObjectivity Coverage CurrencyRecognition
Evaluating Web sources Who sponsors the site? .com (commercial) .edu (educational) .org (nonprofit) .gov (governmental) .mil (military) .net (network) .jp (country-specific sites) link
How to establish your own credibility Evaluate your sources relative to your research problem Narrow your sources to a few most valuable to your research Need to skim through a lot of material first (speed reading) Read all of the information from the most valuable sources Read through it slowly and thoroughly Especially if you are quoting or using arguments If a source references a primary source, it is better to go directly to the primary source.
Document Properly Take full notes Get complete bibliographic data Get attributions right In your notes, distinguish summary from paraphrase and paraphrase from summary. Put quotations around quotes and avoid close paraphrases. Photocopy quotations of more than a few lines. Always record page numbers
Get the Context Right Reference not only the conclusion, but the arguments that support it Is the claim a main point or minor point (how critical is it to the author’s argument?) Be sure about the scope and and level of confidence of the author in making a claim. “X seems to often cause Y” vs. “X causes Y” Don’t confuse quoted authors as representing the author’s view Understand what the source of differences are between authors (approach, evidence, interpretation)
Tips Do not attach yourself to only one author’s view Your research lies in the discrepancies between authors Which has the better argument? Better evidence? Double-check your notes against your sources Organize and summarize as you go Get other people’s perspectives on your work as you progress Teachers Colleagues Study groups
Homework Identify which source you think is the most credible and explain why: Solid rationale for his or her arguments Supportive evidence Referenced in other authors’ works Select one article from a credible source: Read through it slowly and thoroughly Take notes as you go: paraphrase, summarize, reference pages Put quotes in quotation marks or copy pages containing quotes and highlight them Copy title page Submit notes with copies and rationale for selection