Please use easy english no hard grammar because I am an international student.

Source Evaluation Assignment

For your final project you will choose a recent article/essay that examines some aspect of technologically mediated communication (much like the ones we’ve been reading in class. Based on that piece you will compose an essay made up of three, short parts:

  1. A summary
  2. A rhetorical analysis
  3. An evaluation
  4. Personal reflection

In preparation for that assignment, we will be creating a source evaluation. During our visits to the library, you will be working to identify a primary source (an article that will serve as the focus of your project) and secondary sources (research that will help you to evaluate the claims that are maid in your primary source).

Overview and Purpose of Assignment

For the remainder of the semester, you will be developing and completing a research project on a word. This project will have several components including the Source Evaluation Essay(15% of final grade) and a Group Presentation (5% of final grade). I will assess your ability to develop a research plan on a narrow topic of your choice as well as your ability to choose, read, summarize, and evaluate appropriate sources. Thus, you will continue to practice the summary and paraphrase skills that you worked on in the beginning of the semester. You will also improve your ability to use the internet and the library’s resources to locate secondary sources that are rich and credible.

You can think of your source evaluation essay as a documentation of the research process you will use in future courses. It will also serve as a kind of proposal for the research and ideas you will incorporate into the final paper for this course, the Public Project essay (15% of your final grade).

Objectives and Outcomes for Research Project and Source Evaluation:

  • To create and implement a research plan.
  • To practice using MLA citation style and formatting techniques.
  • To practice source literacy and applicability
  • Develop a pre-research and research strategy that focuses the scope of a research project
  • Become familiar with library databases
  • Effectively gather internet research, identifying the author and publisher of online material and evaluating the hosting site of that material as well as the material itself
  • Collect, evaluate, interpret, and synthesize information from a variety of valid and relevant sources, which can include field research
  • Adequately paraphrase and quote source material while documenting all research accurately using MLA style


For this assignment, you will be tasked with locating, reading, summarizing, and evaluating sources. You will also meditate on and draft a reflection of your research process.

  • First you will locate 5 decent sources on your topic during and after two library research days. You will spend enough time with these sources to write a 1-3 sentence overview of them (This source is about…). You can think about your sources as falling into two general types.
    • The first type would be primary sources. You will need to locate an essay from a popular source like The New York Times, Slate, The Atlantic, or any number of newspapers or magazines. The essay must discuss something related to the intersection of technologies and interpersonal communication. We have read a few like these in class from writers like Crystal, Turkle and Humphrys. These essays comment on how technology impacts our social relationships (for better or worse) and sometimes language itself. An acceptable essay must be at least 500 words and have been published later than 2010.
    • The second would be secondary sources. These are writings that will assist you in evaluating the reliability of the claims that are made in your primary source. These sources need to be research-based. In other words, they need to reference data whether qualitative or quantitative. You will find these through the library databases of research articles or an aggregator like Google Scholar.
  • Read each of your three best sources at least one time. For each of your three best sources, you will write a good-sized paragraph (350-500 words) summarizing the source.
    • Then for the primary source, you will write a paragraph that describes what kind of source it is and considers its rhetorical situation—audience, publication venue, author. To write this paragraph, you will need to know what kind of publication the source came from (a news magazine for general readers; a website for a linguistics association; etc.). You might consider questions like: who is the author (and what qualifications does the author have); who published the source; what is the purpose of this publishing venue; what biases or slants might be connected to this purpose; and who is the audience of this publication venue. This paragraph may also consider the conversations in which the source is engaged; the main types of evidence the source employs (research studies, first-hand accounts, etc.); the stylistic and genre conventions of the source; the ways the author accommodates or appeals to his/her audience.
    • For your secondary sources, you will write one good-sized paragraph that explains the source and why you are choosing to use it.What insights are you gaining from it? How does the source connect to your primary source?


The following components are required:

  • A total of 5 sources.
  • 2 must be primary (popular) sources and 3 secondary (scholarly) sources.
  • The write-up will begin with a list/outline of the 5 sources with 1-3 sentence overviews.
  • That outline will be followed by extended annotations of 3 of those 5 (1 popular and 2 scholarly).
  • The annotation for each source must both summarize and analyze/discuss that source. Those sections should be roughly of equal length. Less successful entries will lean more heavily toward one or the other.

Note: The length of the assignment is flexible, but the total number of pages should be no less than 4.

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