Analyze methods of analysis to assess the quality and reliability of sources
You have articles and books in hand. Now it’s time to evaluate their quality.
Consider a parallel situation: let’s say you’re new to campus and you’ve decided to join an organization in order to meet people. How do you evaluate which organization fits you best? You gather information about several organizations by doing the following:
- exploring club web sites, which list social events and service opportunities
- talking with your advisor, who identifies activities that would look good on your resume
- reaching out to club officers, who invite you to sit in on a meeting and ask questions
You evaluate your choices in light of your own interests and goals. You find the organization that fits you best.
Doing research is similar. You’ll find plenty of sources of information, but some will fit your assignment better than others. In this section, you’ll learn how to closely examine your sources using the C.R.A.A.P method to determine their reliability and usefulness, then identify strategies for incorporating these sources into your own work.
What You Will Learn to Do
- analyze strategies for evaluating the rhetorical context (author, purpose, audience) of a source
- analyze the relationship between a potential source and the writing task
- analyze strategies for evaluating the authority, reliability, and effectiveness of a source
- analyze strategies for comparison and synthesis between multiple sources
In this chapter, you will
- see the value in rereading sources
- learn criteria for evaluating sources
- learn criteria for evaluating websites
- consider the importance of synthesizing sources