Using the Web to Locate Sources for your Research Papers & Projects


Using the Web to Locate Sources for your Research Papers & Projects

Student learning objectives: 1) Demonstrate an understanding of the proper techniques used when selecting good, credible, appropriate sources from the Web. 2) Create a properly formatted works cited list. Assignment: Find at least four good, reliable sources that support the thesis statement below. Your thesis should revolve around 3-4 key points or arguments, so the sources you select should focus on those points or arguments. Try to find a wide variety of sources that cover all aspects of the issue, including statistical information and supportive evidence from knowledgeable individuals and/or reputable sources. Research Question: Is online social networking changing how we interact with others in a positive way? Thesis Statement: Online social networking is changing how we interact with others in a positive way. Use the criteria listed below when selecting your sources: 1) Currency – if you can’t find a publication date for the information you want to use or a date indicating when the information was last modified, don’t use the source. NOTE: Most web sites have copyright dates at the bottom of each page. If the copyright date is current then you can use the source and use the copyright date as the publication date for the source if the specific article or information itself doesn’t include a date. 2) Authority – if you can’t find information about the person who has written the material you intend to use or the person or group that is sponsoring the information, don’t use the source. If you can find information about the individual or group, do what you can to determine if it demonstrates that they have authority to speak knowledgeably on the topic. NOTE: Most web sites contain an ABOUT or ABOUT US link on the home page that leads to detailed information about the sponsors or authors of the web site. 3) Purpose – carefully scrutinize the web site to determine its intent. Try to determine if the site is commercial, informational, educational, persuasive, or a hoax. Seek out more trustworthy sites (i.e., .gov, .edu) and be very skeptical of other sites (i.e., .com, .org, .net). 4) Objectivity – Is the information provided biased in order to sell you something or promote a personal cause? If it is, does that affect the reliability and trustworthiness of the information you want to use? If so, don’t use the source. 5) Writing style – if there are spelling errors or the information is written poorly, don’t use the source. How to format your submission: 1) Your name, course title/number, and the date should be in the upper left-hand corner of the document. 2) Provide the title and URL for each source. Then, in 3-4 sentences explain why you think the source is good, credible and appropriate based on its currency, authority, purpose, objectivity and writing style. 3) On a separate page, using the MLA resources located in this module create a properly formatted works cited list containing at least 4 of the sources you located in this assignment. The following web page provides additional excellent guidance for formatting web sources for an MLA works cited list.

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