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Library Instruction: Active Learning : Online Evaluation: Newspapers


Research Project: First Step


Find a current topic that has recently received substantial news coverage in newspapers or magazines.  Consider recent issues and events in the news. There should be newspaper, journal, magazine and internet sources currently available (published within the last year) on this topic. Choose a topic that interests you.


You will ultimately need to come up with a thesis question and all the articles should relate to this question.


When you are at the library, find three* sources that directly relate to your topic. Sources should come from the following major newspapers and magazines or scholarly sources:


 The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Time Magazine, US News and World Report,  Newsweek (note: some of these are digital only) and scholarly sources found in the library’s academic databases.


These sources are available in the on-line library databases and/or most have hard copies available in the library. Check out research resources in the ulearn site for this course.


Use only sources from the list above* (for example, one article from The New York Times and one from Newsweek).These sources should be recent, related to your topic, and of appropriate length (i.e., long). Use only full text articles, not abstracts.  Bring the articles with you to the next class meeting. Be sure to record all the bibliographic info you will later need for a works cited page.


Do not use Wikipedia, blogs or letters to the editor as sources. If there is an editorial or opinion page, before using it be sure the author is a credible source who is qualified to write about the topic (for example, if your topic is a world health issue, and the writer is identified as working for the World Health Organization).


*There is some flexibility with the third source; it may be a chapter in a book, or from a source on the web ending in .org or .gov or another trustworthy site.


Scenario: You have to write a short paper for an ENG 1020 class on a current topic, using newspapers and scholarly, peer reviewed sources.


Using the ABCD criteria on your handout, work with your team to score the source you are assigned.

Is your source credible? Is it Peer Reviewed?


Consider: Can a source be credible without being peer reviewed?


Pro-Tip: Each team evaluates ONE of the following sources:

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Source 4

Source 5

Source 6

Source 7


Click here to take the Information Literacy Module

ABCD Handout