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Assessing Sources with Strategic Reading

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Author: Mark Feldman

Activity title: Assessing Sources with Strategic Reading

Class: PWR 1

Activity brief description: In this activity, students divide into small groups, each tasked with asssesing a source quickly and strategically. The students are given several questions to answer about the source and are tasked with answering these questions by reading sources selectively and visually. This activity is a response to many students' impulse to read a source in its entirety before assessing it; this activity, on the other hand, gives students the tools to conduct research more selectively. By looking for visual signifiers to distinguish between sources, students also understand the structure of different kinds of sources and gain a greater understanding in particular of how an academic article is organized and framed.

Activity Length & Schedule: Week 3-4 or Week 5-6 (could be used either before the TiC or before the RBA)

Activity goals:

  1. Learn how to distinguish between scholarly and non-scholarly sources
  2. Look for valuable information in the introduction and preliminary pages of the sources
  3. Decide efficiently whether a source will be useful for a long-term research project.

Activity Details: See handout.

This activity was originally shared in August 2013.