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Evaluating your Resources: Home

Standard Main Library Resources

Guided Inquiry Process for Effective Researching

Open - Review Assignment. Introduction of the general topic to stimulate curiosity and engage inquiry.  Ideas, themes, questions, problems or concepts related to the subject.  (Prewrite)

Immerse - Connect with content and discover interesting ideas to explore further. What seems particularly interesting, curious, surprising or troubling?  Reflect on ideas that matter to you and are worth further investigation. (Prewrite)

Explore - Survey a wide variety of sources, read when you find something interesting, explore ideas. Browse and scan a variety of sources and prepare to develop your inquiry questions. (Skim and Scan) (Prewrite)

Identify - Students are ready to identify a question for their inquiry because of the time spent immersing and exploring in order to build enough background knowledge to ask a meaningful question. Construct an inquiry question from the ideas, pressing problems, and emerging themes you have explored in various sources of information. Form a focus and draft a question.

Gather - A question gives direction to collect detailed information from a variety of sources. Locate, evaluate, and use information. "Go broad" to find a range of sources that are useful and "dig deep" and choose a core of the most useful sources to read closely as you find connections and gain personal understanding. (Close Reading) (Prewrite)

Create - By this stage, you have gathered enough information to construct your own understanding, you are now ready to organize your learning. What is important about the subject? Construct your own understanding, summarize, interpret, and extend meaning.  Integrate your own ideas more firmly into deep understanding. (Close Reading) (Write and Revise)

Share - Students share the product they have created to show what they have learned. (Publish)

 

Evaluate - This occurs at the end when evaluation of the achievement of your learning goals takes place. Students reflect on their content learning and progress through the inquiry process. Self-reflection reinforces content learning and establishes good habits for learning how to learn through the inquiry process.

Guided Inquiry Design® Framework. 2020, guidedinquirydesign.com/gid/. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

Creating Citations or Works Cited Page?

  1. If you are using any of the databases offered at ISB, you can copy the citation from the database (remember we use MLA 8 at ISB). 
  2. Use the new Research eNotes Tool to capture all of the information for your research in one Google Doc.
  3. Use NoodleTools or MyBib.com  to create your citation in MLA 8 format. Visually inspect your citation and capture the In-Text citation.

Works Cited: A Quick Guide

MLA Handbook. 8th ed., New York, Modern Language Association of America, 2016.

OPVL Explained

OPVL - Worksheet to evaluate a source using the OPVL Method

OPVL is an effective tool to analyze primary and secondary source documents.

Origin

  Origin is where the source comes from.

  • Is this a primary or secondary source?
  • Who is the author or artist?
  • What date it was written or finished?
  • In which country the author or artist was born?
  • Where was it created?
  • What type of sources was it when it  was first presented (newspaper, book, letter, performance, display, speech, etc.)?
  • What was the historic context in which the source was created?
  • Is there anything known about the author that is important to know to evaluate it? 

Purpose

Purpose is where you have to put yourself in the author or artist's shoes. The purpose should relate to the origin of the source.

  • What do you think the author was trying to communicate?
  • What ideas or feelings was the author trying to express or make others feel?
  • Why did the author create this document?  Why does it exist?
  • Who was the intended audience of this source? Who was it created for?
  • What is the obvious message of the source? What other messages are there that might not be obvious?
  • The purpose is especially important when it comes to pieces of propaganda as sources.

Value

Value is how valuable this source is. Basically it's linked to the amount of bias in the source:  the more bias = the less valuable (usually). Primary sources are obviously more valuable than secondary/tertiary ones.

  • Why is this source important in the study of this topic?
  • What is an important quote from this source?
  • What value does this source have that might not be available elsewhere?
  • What can one tell about the author of this source?
  • Who does this source represent?
  • What was going on in history when this source was created?
  • What new information does this piece bring to the understanding of the topic?
  • How does this source help me better understand my research question?
  • How does this source help me better understand the topic?

Limitations

Limitations is also linked to bias, each source will be at least a little biased and thus they are limited by that. Do not state bias alone as a limitation. All sources have bias.

  • Why is this source biased?
  • How is this source biased?
  • Has the source has been translated from the original? (i.e., Hitler's diary entry was  translated into English by a historian and you're using the historian's book as a source)  If so, then the language difference will be another source of inaccuracy and a limitation.
  • What information was not available to the author when the source was created?
  • Did the author get the information from a reliable source?
  • Does the author have reason to emphasize certain facts over other facts?  How might the source be different if it were presented to another audience?\
  • Does the author have personal involvement in the event? How might this effect the source?
  • What specific information might the author has chosen to leave out? Why?
  • Does the author concede that a certain point as is inconvenient for the author to admit?
  • How might the historical context in which the document was created influence the interpretation of the document?
  • What is the length of time between the creation of this source and the topic or event it relates to? How is this time difference important to our study of the topic?
  • What should you be cautious about when using this source?

 

“LibGuides: Environmental Systems & Societies: Evaluate Sources (OPVL & 5 Ws).” Libguides.Com, 2019, concordian-thailand.libguides.com/c.php?g=567265&p=3976513. Accessed 3 Nov. 2020.

 

5 W's of Resource Evaluation

Scholarly vs. Popular

Scholarly v. Popular*

What are they? Scholarly or peer-reviewed journal articles are written by scholars or professionals who are experts in their fields. Popular sources aim to inform a wide audience about issues of interest and are much more informal in tone and scope.

Why do we care? Evidence. You want to base your writing and arguments on the best available evidence. While both types of sources contain credible information, scholarly articles (usually) provide the best evidence for the authors' claims (through high-quality citations and the peer-review process).

How do you know which is which?

Scholarly [Criteria] Popular
research projects, methodology, and theory Contents personalities, news, and general interest articles
specialized Audience general
subject experts Authors journalists and generalists
academic institutions Affiliation staff or freelance writers
highly focused, geared towards researchers and professionals Topics more generalized, geared towards nonprofessionals
peer-reviewed (usually) Review Process edited but not peer-reviewed
bibliographies/footnotes References no bibliographies
many have dull covers Appearance glossy, eye-catching covers
few or none Advertisements many
Journal of Food Science, Urban Studies, Journal of Applied Psychology, Annals of Human Genetics Examples People, New York Times, Psychology Today, Time

*Types of Periodicals - Periodical is a generic term used for magazines and scholarly journals. They are materials that are published at regular intervals (monthly, quarterly, daily, etc.).

 

“LibGuides: Long Descriptions of Images in Guides: Home.” Libguides.Com, 2010, iupui.libguides.com/c.php?g=463889&p=3171106#s-lg-box-wrapper-11533422. Accessed 3 Nov. 2020.

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Primary v. Secondary Sources

Definitions:

Primary Sources: Original documents created or experienced contemporaneously with the event being researched. They are first-hand observations, contemporary accounts of events, viewpoints of the time. They present original thinking, report a discovery, or share new information.

Secondary Sources: Works that analyze, assess, or interpret an historical event, era or phenomenon, generally utilizing primary sources to do so. They provide interpretation of information, usually written well after the event. They offer reviews or critiques.

Examples:

Primary Sources Secondary Sources
Diaries Biographical Works
Journal articles detailing original research Books (except fiction & autobiographies)
Letters Commentaries, crtiicisms
Newspaper articles written at the time Histories
Oral & video recordings Journal articles (depending on the discipline these can be primary)
Original documents (e.g., birth certificate, trial transcripts) Literature Reviews
Photgraphs Magazine and Newspaper Articles (this distinction varies by discipline)
Records of organizations, government agencies (e.g., annual report, treaty, constitution)  
Speeches  
Survey Research (e.g., market surveys, public opinion polls)  
Works of art, architecture, literature, and music)  
Data, Statistics, etc.