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Touchstones are projects that illustrate your comprehension of the course material, help you refine skills, and demonstrate application of knowledge. You can work on a Touchstone anytime, but you can#8217;t submit it until you have completed the unit’s Challenges. Once you#8217;ve submitted a Touchstone, it will be graded and counted toward your final course score.
Touchstone 2.1: Evaluate a Source
ASSIGNMENT: For this essay, you will select one of the sources you have found through your preliminary research about your research topic. Which source you choose is up to you; however, it should be substantial enough that you will be able to talk about it at length, and intricate enough that it will keep you (and your reader) interested.
In order to foster learning and growth, all essays you submit must be newly written specifically for this course. Any recycled work will be sent back with a 0, and you will be given one attempt to redo the Touchstone.
The introduction of this paper will involve introducing the source: Provide the author, the title, and the context (where you found the source, where it was originally published, who sponsored it, etc.)
You will then go on to evaluate the source on two levels:
Credibility: Using the information in this unit as a guide, evaluate the source’s authenticity and reliability. Look at all the information that you can find about the source to establish the author’s (or sponsor’s) trustworthiness.
Usefulness: Using a combination of summary and analysis, examine the source on a critical level. Determine what the source’s purpose (thesis) is, and how it arrives at that goal. Examine its value to you and the project you are working on. How will it help you prove your own points? How might it come in handy to back up a claim (or address a counter-claim)?
Finally, you will include a conclusion which shows your final assessments on both counts.
A. Assignment Guidelines
DIRECTIONS: Refer to the list below throughout the writing process. Do not submit your Touchstone until it meets these guidelines.
1. Source Identification
The introduction of this paper will be introducing the source:
❒ Have you provided the author#8217;s name?❒ Have you provided the source title?❒ Have you provided the context (where you found the source, where it was originally published, who sponsored it, etc.)?
2. Source Evaluation
❒ Have you provided a judgment on the source#8217;s credibility?❒ Have you used specific exles from the source to illustrate your judgment on credibility?❒ Have you provided a judgment on the source#8217;s usefulness?❒ Have you used specific exles from the source to illustrate your judgment on usefulness?
❒ Have you answered all reflection questions thoughtfully and included insights, observations, and/or exles in all responses?❒ Are your answers included on a separate page below the main assignment?
B. Reflection Questions
DIRECTIONS: Below your assignment, include answers to all of the following reflection questions.
What types of questions did you ask yourself when evaluating the credibility and usefulness of your source? (2-3 sentences)
How do you feel this evaluation practice will help you as you continue to move through the research process? (2-3 sentences)
Advanced (90-)Proficient (80-89%)Acceptable (70-79%)Needs Improvement (50-69%)Non-Performance (0-49%)
Provide a clear thesis statement with sufficient support.The thesis statement consists of an original observation that is clear, focused, and well-supported.The thesis statement consists of an original observation that is adequately supported.The thesis statement consists of an identifiable main idea that is generally supported.The thesis statement consists of an identifiable main idea, but it is not not well supported or does not match most of essay#8217;s content.The thesis statement is missing or completely unsupported.
Evidence and Analysis
Evaluate a single source based on the characteristics of credibility and usefulness.The analysis includes specific exles from the text as support; claims for credibility and usefulness are fully developed.The analysis includes exles from the text as support; claims for credibility and usefulness are adequately developed.The analysis includes some exles from the text, though they potentially vague or abstract; claims for credibility and usefulness are established but need further development.The analysis includes one or two exles from the text, but they are of a vague, abstract nature; claims for either credibility or usefulness are missing.The analysis includes little to no exles for support; there are no established claims for either credibility or usefulness.
Exhibit competent organizational writing techniques.Presents all of the required components of a source evaluation essay, including an engaging introduction with background information and a clear thesis, a body paragraph or paragraphs addressing the source#8217;s credibility, a body paragraph or paragraphs addressing the source#8217;s usefulness, and a conclusion with a concluding statement.Presents all of the required components of a source evaluation essay, including an introduction with background information and a clear thesis, a body paragraph or paragraphs addressing the source#8217;s credibility, a body paragraph or paragraphs addressing the source#8217;s usefulness, and a conclusion with a concluding statement.Presents nearly all of the required components of a source evaluation essay; however, one component is missing.Presents most of the required components of a source evaluation essay, but is lacking two components; sequences ideas and paragraphs such that the connections between ideas (within and between paragraphs) are sometimes unclear and the reader may have difficulty following the progression of the essay.Lacks several or all of the components of a source evaluation essay; sequences ideas and paragraphs such that the connections between ideas (within and between paragraphs) are often unclear and the reader has difficulty following the progression of the essay.
Establish a consistent, informative tone and make thoughtful stylistic choices.Demonstrates thoughtful and effective word choices, avoids redundancy and imprecise language, and uses a wide variety of sentence structures.Demonstrates effective word choices, primarily avoids redundancy and imprecise language, and uses a variety of sentence structures.Demonstrates generally effective style choices, but may include occasional redundancies, imprecise language, poor word choice, and/or repetitive sentence structures.Frequently includes poor word choices, redundancies, imprecise language, and/or repetitive sentence structures.Consistently demonstrates poor word choices, redundancies, imprecise language, and/or repetitive sentence structures.
Follow conventions for standard written English.There are only a few, if any, negligible errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, and usage.There are occasional minor errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, and usage.There are some significant errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, and usage.There are frequent significant errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, and usage.There are consistent significant errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, and usage.
Answer reflection questions thoroughly and thoughtfully.Demonstrates thoughtful reflection; consistently includes insights, observations, and/or exles in all responses, following or exceeding response length guidelines.Demonstrates thoughtful reflection; includes multiple insights, observations, and/or exles, following response length guidelines.Primarily demonstrates thoughtful reflection, but some responses are lacking in detail or insight; primarily follows response length guidelines.Shows limited reflection; the majority of responses are lacking in detail or insight, with some questions left unanswered or falling short of response length guidelines.No reflection responses are present.
The following requirements must be met for your submission to be graded:
Composition must be 2-3 pages (approximately 500-750 words).
Double-space the composition and use one-inch margins.
Use a readable 12-point font.
All writing must be appropriate for an academic context.
Composition must be original and written for this assignment.
Plagiarism of any kind is strictly prohibited.
Submission must include your name, the name of the course, the date, and the title of your composition.
Include all of the assignment components in a single file.
Acceptable file formats include .doc and .docx.
E. Additional Resources
The following resources will be helpful to you as you work on this assignment:
Purdue Online Writing Lab#8217;s APA Formatting and Style Guide
This site includes a comprehensive overview of APA style, as well as individual pages with guidelines for specific citation types.
Frequently Asked Questions About APA Style
This page on the official APA website addresses common questions related to APA formatting. The #8220;References,#8221; #8220;Punctuation,#8221; and #8220;Grammar and Writing Style#8221; sections will be the most useful to your work in this course.
APA Style: Quick Answers—References
This page on the official APA Style website provides numerous exles of reference list formatting for various source types.
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