This unit discusses best practices for reading a scholarly article and questions you should consider when you read and evaluate the sources you have found.
What's in this unit?
How will this help me?
Critically analyzing your information sources will help ensure you are selecting quality and balanced information for your paper.
Scholarly sources contain a wealth of information, but because they are written for an audience of fellow experts, they can be really dense. The following resources provide some information and tips for understanding how scholarly sources are organized and how to efficiently read them.
Use the following handout to guide your evaluation as you read each source you have found.
1. For each source, rank how relevant it is to your topic, how up to date the information is, and how much you learn from the source. Your selection might range from "strong no" (for example, the information just repeats what you already know) all the way to "strong yes" (that is, you learned something new)
2. Write a quick summary of the article's main argument and the evidence the author used to support that argument
3. Investigate the author (google if you need to!). What credentials do they have? Who is their intended audience?
You can fill out your notes and save the pdf for each source so you have a handy record to refer to later.
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