Ch 4 El

Whats a good source.

Starting with sources help us:
- Verify whether our work will yield something new.
- Begin collecting information to answer our research questions.
- Provide context for our investigation by relating our study to another scholars work.
- Borrow methods of investigation or theories that worked for other scholars.
- Identify views, assumptions, or conclusions to build on or diverge from.

A research paper thesis often functions like a topic sentence in a paragraph. It simply tells the audience what the papers all about.

Writing that follows research
Experienced scholars combine the best qualities of the persuasive paper and the research paper, like this.
1. Begin with a very specific problem or question within your discipline that interests you: a catalyst.
2. Review scholarly publications to make sure that your question is worth asking or that your problem still needs solving, so that fellow scholars wont be wondering so what?
3. Design and conduct some kind of investigation to solve the problem or answer the question, such as conducting an interview or distributing surveys.
4. Report results of the research, in the form of an argument, to colleagues in your discipline via a scholarly conference presentation and/or publication.

Sifting through sources
1. Stability. Wikipedia content changes all the time, and therefore your reader may not be able to go back and find the same information that was there when you accessed it. Although folks are getting more used to the idea of dynamic, electronic publications, most readers still trust printed text more (though this may change with time).
2. Credibility Anyone can write Wikipedia entries, and contributors do so anonymously. Scholars care about credentials, which is why they place more trust in authors with proven expertise. If they don't know you, they dont (yet) trust you. That's why apprentices must earn credibility as they go and borrow it from more established sources.
3. Reliability Scholarly publications undergo a rigorous review process through which experts scrutinize quality. Wikipedia does have an editorial review process, but its more organic and egalitarian. Contrbutors edit each others entries, and there's virtually no pecking order of expertise, just rule by consensus.

Credibility depends on the particular audience and situation.

Summarizing
To summarize something successfully, we need to follow these steps.
1. Read the text.
2. Create a "reverse outline," or schematic, of the texts layout.
3. Select the most relevant points.
4. Write a summary.
5. Revise the summary.

Paraphrasing
1. Read carefully.
2. Think about what its saying.
3. Rewrite the gist of what the source says.
4. Double check the original.
5. Cite the author.

Using sources to generate ideas

1. Play the believing and doubting game with each of your sources to discover new applications and arguments. Get in the habit of asking yourself these questions every time you read a new source.
2. Find a source with which you strongly disagree.
3. Create a table that compares and contrasts your sources.
4. Pair two sources in conversation with each other.
5. Look at one source through the "lens" of another source.

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