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English 105 CIPHER Sapigao

Evaluating Sources: Building Our Criteria

Before we begin searching for sources to support your debate projects, let's build a list of the criteria together that we will agree use to evaluate sources you'll use in your debate.

To create our list of criteria let's first explore the kind different evaluations methods in small groups.

Which parts of the methods would be most helpful for evaluating the sources you will use for your debate topics?

The debate topics are:

Topic A: Hip Hop Artists are controlled and shaped by the industry that buys and sells their work.
 Group 1: affirmative
Group 2: negative
Topic B: The media reports, explores and analyzes Hip Hop with a lens that focus on stereotypes and economics
Group 3: affirmative
Group 4: negative


Group Work - Break Out Rooms

  1. Watch the video and read the criteria for the evaluating method assigned to your group.
  2. Identified how it is similar/different to the media literacy questions you're already covered in class?
  3. Discuss which parts of the method would be most important for evaluating sources you will use in the debate? 
  4. Fill out a Presentation Slide to share with class.
  5. Select a member of the group to present to class.


Group Work  - Teach the class class your assigned method

Present to your class.

  • Summary of the method and criteria ( at least three bullet points)
  • Explain how this is related to question in Media Literacy
  • Share a bullet list of at least 2-3  ideas or criteria or process from your assigned method your group agrees would be most helpful l when evaluating and selecting what information sources to use to support your debate project. Explain your selection.

The evaluation methods:

  1.  PROVEN
  2. CRAAP
  3. ACTUP
  4. The 5 W
  5. RADAR

We'll share notes from the session and I will use those notes to draft evaluation criteria we'll agree to use for all sources in the debate project.

The 5 W

Often finding information is less of a problem than figuring out whether that information will be appropriate for your project. One way to decide whether a source is “good” for your project or not, is to begin by asking some questions about the source. Remember! Evaluation is a holistic process. One of these questions isn’t enough to determine a source’s usefulness. You need to take them all into consideration.

WHO created the source?

  • What authority does the author/organization have to present on this topic?
  • What are their credentials? Are they connected to the field they are writing about?
  • Are they affiliated with any specific organizations? Could this impact their reliability?
  • Is there contact information for the author or publisher?

WHAT is the purpose of the source?

  1. Is it informing? Selling? Entertaining? Persuading?
  2. Does the point of view appear to be objective or does it appear to be strongly biased?
  3. Is the language emotional pointing to a personal connection to the topic?
  4. Are any included images appropriate to the topic and clearly labeled or cited?
  5. If on a website: What URL does the site use and what does this suggest about the source?
  6. If on a website: Are the ads clearly separated from the information?

WHERE does the information come from?

  • Does the source use evidence to support its claims?
  • Are there any references? If so, are they appropriate to the topic and source?
  • Is there a bibliography? If so, what kinds of sources are being cited?
  • Can the information be verified with another source?
  • Is the source presenting fact or opinion?
  • Does the source contain spelling, grammar, or typographical errors?

WHEN was the source published?

  • Has the information been updated or revised if necessary?
  • Does your topic require very recent information, or will older sources be acceptable or even preferred?
  • If on a website: Is a date given for when the information was posted?
  • If on a website: Are there important links that are now dead or overall are they kept up to date?

WHY is this source useful to you?

  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level for your needs (i.e. not too simplistic/not too advanced)?
  • Does the information help to answer your research question or develop your argument?
  • Does the source add new information or simply repeat or summarize other perspectives?