Week 4 Discussion: Analyzing Academic Writing and Evaluating Sources
Here you are going analyze two pieces of writing, using two sets of criteria for your analysis. Be sure to do BOTH parts of the forum to be eligible for full credit.
Part 1 – Traits of Academic Writing
In her recent article in Teaching English in the Two Year College, Teresa Thonney outlines six standard features of academic writing:
- Writers respond to what others have said about their topic.
- Writers state the value of their work and announce the plan for their papers.
- Writers acknowledge that others might disagree with the position they’ve taken.
- Writers adopt a voice of authority.
- Writers use academic and discipline specific vocabulary.
- Writers emphasize evidence, often in tables, graphs, and images. (348)
To complete this week’s discussion, go to this site: APUS Digital Commons@APUS Site. There you have two choices for this assignment; you can look at student papers or faculty papers. The direct links to those two choices are shown here:
Find a paper that is related to your topic. You can choose either a student or faculty paper. If you don’t find a paper on your topic, just choose one that interests you. You may see the abstract of a paper and can download the paper to read it. As you read the paper, pay close attention to the six features of academic writing noted above. Which standards are present the paper? What standards (if any) are missing? How does the presence or absence of these standards affect the quality of the paper?
To help us locate the papers you have analyzed be sure to provide the paper’s title and recommended citation found on the paper’s website.
Part 2 – Source Evaluation
For the second part of this forum, find an article from the APUS Library on your topic and evaluate the source based on the criteria below. Each criterion is followed by question(s) to help you with your evaluation. Be sure to include the citation for the article, as well as a link so we can look at it.
Title of Article (including proper citation and URL so we can find it)
- Peer-reviewed Journal: Is the article from a peer-reviewed journal at APUS Library?
- Credible Author: How or why should the author should be considered an expert on your chosen topic?
- Reliable Publisher: Who is the publisher? What is the publisher’s reputation? Has this source been published by a scholarly or peer-reviewed press? Is this source available in trusted archives, such as subscription databases? If this is from a website, how stable is that website?
- Accuracy: Does the information seem to be accurate? Does the information correspond with or contradict information found in sources known to be reliable? Has the information been peer-reviewed? Is there a reference list available so you can verify the information? Are there any factual errors, statistical flaws, or faulty conclusions?
- Current Information: Is the material up to date? If it is from a website, when was it last updated
- Objectivity (Bias): Are all sides of the issue/topic treated fairly? Do you detect any bias? (For instance, is the author connected to any institution or foundation that might be paying him, which could suggest bias?)
Please see rubric for grading criteria.