Chapter 4

What's a Good Source?

  • Scholars rarely start a writing argument with a thesis, but rather a source. Why?
    • To verify whether our work will determine something new for the argument.
    • To begin collecting info to answer the question we are researching.
    • To provide context for our research and investigation by relating our study to other scholars work and research.
    • To borrow methods of investigation or theories that worked for others conducting research.
    • To identify views, assumption, or conclusions to build on.

An Elementary Way of Using Sources

  • Research Report
    • Pick a topic.
    • Find some convenient sources on that particular topic.
    • Take notes.
    • Organize your notes and info into some sort of an outline.
    • Glue together your own words with your sources.
    • Write an introduction that ties that whole thing together.
    • Restate your intro as a concluding paragraph.
  • Persuasive Paper
    • Pick a controversial topic.
    • Choose a thesis on your knowledge that you have already.
    • Think of reasons why your thesis is correct.
    • Find sources that support your argument.
    • Ignore sources that contradict or complicate your argument.
    • Write the equivalent of a five-paragraph essay.

Writing that Follows Research

  • Begin with a specific question/problem.
  • Review scholarly publications.
  • Design and conduct some sort of investigation.
  • Report the results and findings of the research.

Sifting through Sources

  • How to know which sources are the best to use.
    • Stability.
    • Credibility.
    • Reliability.
  • When looking online for credible sources, ask yourself these questions.
    • Who wrote this? What makes them credible?
    • What are the authors trying to achieve?
    • How do they support their claims?
    • Is anyone profiting from this? Who? How might money-making efforts influence the content?
    • When was this written?
    • Will this still be here next month?

How Do We Summarize

  • Read the text.
  • Create a "reverse outline" of the layout of the text.
  • Select only the most relevant points.
  • Write a summary.
  • Revise the summary.

How Do We Paraphrase

  • Read carefully.
  • Think about what the text is saying.
  • Rewrite the gist of what the source says.
  • Double check the original.
  • Cite the author.

Using Sources to Generate Ideas

  • Play the believing and doubting game.
  • Find a source with which you strongly disagree.
  • Create a table that compares and contrasts your sources.
  • Pair two sources in conversation with each other.
  • Look at one source through the "lens" of another source.
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