Source Analysis Paper
- Consult the supporting documents from Patrick Rael’sReading, Writing, and Researching for History. It is history-focused but the lessons apply to all forms of “active reading.”
- Take notes on your source. Focus on the issues highlighted by Rael (e.g., topic sentences, understanding the thesis/argument).
- After you have identified the main argument of the author(s), consider if it is convincing or not. If so, what proved compelling? If not, what seems incorrect and/or misleading?
- Consider the evidence provided by your author(s). Are they relying on a wide range of source material, or, are they selectively “cherry picking” data/evidence to support a predetermined argument?
- Once these initial steps have been taken, it is time to move onto structuring your Source Analysis
Structure of the Source Analysis
There are many ways to structure a source analysis. What I am suggesting you do is follow this template to make things easier. It is, in essence, the typical “five-paragraph essay” format.
- In an introductory paragraph, outline the main points of the article/chapter and identify the thesis statement. What is the argument?
- In a second paragraph, delve a little deeper. Offer a specific example for analysis. Here, we are interested in how evidence/sources are used by the author to make points.
- In a third paragraph, continue this process. Select another example that you can assess to determine the veracity/utility of the author(s)’ overall argument.
- In a fourth paragraph, offer one more example of source utilization by the author as it relates to constructing the article/chapter’s main argument.
- In a fifth and final paragraph, sum up what you have offered thus far. In addition, offer an overall assessment of the article/book. Is the thesis proved? If not, what might have been offered to make the argument more compelling?
This is a straightforward exercise. That does not mean "easy;" however, it is entirely "doable." Read the source and reflect upon whether or not it accomplished the goals set forth by the author(s). Submit via Blackboard drop box…
USE THE RUBRIC!!! [formatting a bit off from embedding, apologies - see attachment if it is problematic for you]