In Unit One, we explored the issue of education as a class. In Unit Two, you'll be working in smaller groups, exploring an issue of your own choice. For this first essay, you'll again be developing a "group text" of possible sources, but this time, instead of just summarizing the sources, you'll be evaluating them to determine which are appropriate to an academic paper, which are not, and why.
The question you'll answer is "Is this article an appropriate source for an academic paper in which you will position yourself among a range of views on your focused topic? Why or why not?"
You're answering it for your group members, who are working with you to find a pool of sources that might be useful in the final essay for this class. They'll be counting on you for an accurate "report" about your source.
Your goals: Think of this assignment as preparation for the longer essay you'll be asked to write next. As a group, you'll want to complete the most effective research you can, so that when you sit down to write your essay you'll have plenty of useful sources on which to draw. Individually, then, your goal is to "do your part" for the group by finding an interesting possible source and offering a detailed analysis of that source for your group to use.
- Research your topic in the library (and over the Internet, if you wish) to find a pool of arguments/articles on your subject.
- Work with your group to narrow your topic; decide what particular issue within that topic interests you. Narrow your pool of sources by determining which articles address that issue and which do not.
- Select the source you want to evaluate for this assignment. Complete the source/position evaluation worksheet on your source. Be as detailed as you can at this stage; this is the information you'll be drawing on to write your Source/Position Evaluation.
- From all of the information in the worksheet, decide what you want to focus on in your evaluation.
- Find examples from the text to support the claims you make about it.
- When you have a draft you're comfortable with, share it with other members of the group. Does it give them a complete picture of the text? What questions do they still have about your source?
- Revise and rewrite your source evaluation based on your group's questions.