Preliminary Research

ASSIGNMENT: For this essay, you will select one of the sources you have found through your preliminary research about your research topic. Which source you choose is up to you; however, it should be substantial enough that you will be able to talk about it at length, and intricate enough that it will keep you (and your reader) interested.

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In order to foster learning and growth, all essays you submit must be newly written specifically for this course. Any recycled work will be sent back with a 0, and you will be given one attempt to redo the Touchstone.

The introduction of this paper will involve introducing the source: Provide the author, the title, and the context (where you found the source, where it was originally published, who sponsored it, etc.)

You will then go on to evaluate the source on two levels:
Credibility: Using the information in this unit as a guide, evaluate the source’s authenticity and reliability. Look at all the information that you can find about the source to establish the author’s (or sponsor’s) trustworthiness.
Usefulness: Using a combination of summary and analysis, examine the source on a critical level. Determine what the source’s purpose (thesis) is, and how it arrives at that goal. Examine its value to you and the project you are working on. How will it help you prove your own points? How might it come in handy to back up a claim (or address a counter-claim)?
Finally, you will include a conclusion which shows your final assessments on both counts.
A. Assignment Guidelines

DIRECTIONS: Refer to the list below throughout the writing process. Do not submit your Touchstone until it meets these guidelines.

1. Source Identification

The introduction of this paper will be introducing the source:

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❒ Have you provided the author’s name?
❒ Have you provided the source title?
❒ Have you provided the context (where you found the source, where it was originally published, who sponsored it, etc.)?
2. Source Evaluation
❒ Have you provided a judgment on the source’s credibility?
❒ Have you used specific examples from the source to illustrate your judgment on credibility?
❒ Have you provided a judgment on the source’s usefulness?
❒ Have you used specific examples from the source to illustrate your judgment on usefulness?
3. Reflection
❒ Have you answered all reflection questions thoughtfully and included insights, observations, and/or examples in all responses?

❒ Are your answers included on a separate page below the main assignment?

B. Reflection Questions

DIRECTIONS: Below your assignment, include answers to all of the following reflection questions.

What types of questions did you ask yourself when evaluating the credibility and usefulness of your source? (2-3 sentences)
How do you feel this evaluation practice will help you as you continue to move through the research process? (2-3 sentences)
C. Requirements

The following requirements must be met for your submission to be graded:

Composition must be 2-3 pages (approximately 500-750 words).
Double-space the composition and use one-inch margins.
Use a readable 12-point font.
All writing must be appropriate for an academic context.
Composition must be original and written for this assignment.
Plagiarism of any kind is strictly prohibited.

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Submission must include your name, the name of the course, the date, and the title of your composition.
Include all of the assignment components in a single file.
Acceptable file formats include .doc and .docx.

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