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Assessing Source Reliability Questions

Assessing Source Reliability Questions

Description

Assessing/evaluating sources differs from summarizing in that when we assess/evaluate we more from reading with the text (summarizing) to reading against it in a way that exposes its strengths and weaknesses. When evaluating, we analyze the source rhetorically, looking at the credibility of the source, the authority of the author, the source’s purpose and intended audience, the objectivity (or bias) of the source, the source’s accuracy or reliability, and its timeliness (kairos). By reading against the source in this way, we are able to better understand not only what is said but also what is omitted. See this resourcefor more information about assessing/evaluating sources.

Exercise

Use the two sources you used for the exercise on citing, and add any more you have found. You need three or more ideally, so you can start thinking about the sources in relation to one another. However, work with what you have so far — and know that you’ll need to come back to your annotations later to add more assessment/evaluation for additional sources.

  1. You’ll work in groups of 3-4. 
  2. You should have already completed at least two citations and summaries in the previous activities. For each source, include a citation; and underneath it, include a heading that says “Assessment”. Keep in mind that you will not use headers in your final draft, but they’re helpful for the purposes of this activity.
  3. Individually, take a few minutes to write an assessment of each source under the “Assessment” heading. Remember to be concise and analyze each source rhetorically, reading against the text. The questions below should guide you.
    • Is this source useful?
    • How does this source compare with other sources in your Annotated Bibliography?
    • Is the information reliable?
    • Is this source biased or objective?
    • What is the goal of this source?
    • Will you continue to use this source?
  4. When each group member has finished, take 5-10 minutes to read each other’s assessments and give each other constructive feedback:
    • Does the author mention the usefulness of the source? 
    • Does the author address reliability, bias, or objectiveness at all?
    • Does the author talk about whether they’regoing to continue using this source – and do they explain why or why not?

Exit Ticket

On a separate sheet of paper, write down a citation and assessment for one of your sources as well as your name.  

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