Critical Skill Building Assignment
VALUE: 5 points
Goals: There are several goals to this assignment. First, you will research sources that will help
you to narrow your ideas for your research essay. Second, you will compare the pros and cons and
differences between different source types. This will aid you in selecting information for your
research essay and other future projects!
1. Find 2 articles that discuss the same topic but are different types of sources. The topic the
articles cover should be something that you are interested in investigating for your research essay.
a. One of those articles should be form Wikipedia,
b. The other source should be from a scholarly source (a trade publication or a scholarly
journal; you will most likely have to find this via the library databases. I would recommend
Jstor or Proquest.)
2. You will write a descriptive abstract (shorter than a summary) for each article, telling me the
essential content of each. Shoot for around 100 words for each abstract.
3. Then, give me an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each source and how each might
be useful, in their own way, to a research project. Write as much as it takes to do a good job on
this. Around 250 words might do it.
4. Possible EXTRA CREDIT: Compare a third source on the same topic. Include this third source in
your analysis and provide an abstract. This source should be a popular magazine or a newspaper.
This could be worth up to 2 points extra, depending on the quality of your work.
Format: Follow MLA page format/citation guidelines. Double space. Works Cited required.
Provide me with a URL to find the source you used.
Grading: Above all, follow directions. Make sure you use the correct source types above and are
accurate in your abstract. Cover all aspects required in the analysis. Exhibit critical thinking and
reading. Follow length requirements. Proofread. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling count! Check
your citations carefully.
Hints and tips:
? If you need help finding sources, be
sure to contact a librarian or visit them
on the 3rd floor.
The shortest sources aren’t
necessarily the best. Try to find work
that will actually help you get started
on your research for the final essay.