What we'll do today in class:
- Analyzing sources for positions
- Evaluating sources
Connection to course goals: The first activity is designed to help students find positions in their sources, a requirement for this context because their first goal is to analyze and understand the various positions within an issue. We then introduce source evaluation as an expectation of an academic argument. In order to effectively meet this context students must be able to find credible sources so they can support their arguments effectively.
- Group analysis of Wiesenfeld (Appendix) article to find different positions he takes or that he implies exist.
Discuss group analyses.
Have one group offer their responses as a sample you can put on the board.
You can use just one group's work as a sample, but make sure to at least have other groups share their issues and the positions they identified.
In this discussion, highlight the fact that sources may not say directly what issue they address and what the author's position is. You might have to read into the article to draw these things out.
Also highlight the fact that in any source there are probably multiple positions on the issue that can be identified.
- A main goal here is to emphasize that people aren't necessarily going to come right out and say "here is my position on the issue of…" You have to look deeper and analyze what they're saying to really understand the different positions.
- IN THEIR GROUPS ask them to read through the WIESENFELD article and:
- Define an issue the article addresses
- Summarize Wiesenfeld's position using specific evidence from the text. What is his position? Where can you see that position in what he says?
- Ask them to look for specific places in the text that imply other positions.
- (10-15 min)
Evaluating sources. Discuss the purpose of evaluating sources, and then the reading from the PHG so they know how to evaluate both internet and library sources.
4) Evaluate the source they brought to class. Have them use the information from the previous discussion to evaluate the 2 sources they brought to class.
Have them exchange their sources to have other people evaluate them as well.
Exchange your two sources with a neighbor and respond to the evaluating questions just like you did for your own sources.
Using one of your articles (or a new article if you so desire), come up with at least 3 positions taken or implied by the author.
Decide on your issue
Bring your articles back to class
PHG, "Narrowing and Focusing your subject", pp. 551-555