Analyzing Academic Writing and Evaluating Sources: 6 Features

Part 1 – Traits of Academic Writing Here you are going analyze two pieces of writing, using two sets of criteria for your analysis. Be sure to do BOTH parts of the forum to be eligible for full credit. Part 1 – Traits of Academic Writing

In her recent article in Teaching English in the Two Year College, Teresa Thonney outlines six standard

Features of Academic Writing

  1. Writers respond to what others have said about their topic.
  2. Writers state the value of their work and announce the plan for their papers.
  3. Writers acknowledge that others might disagree with the position they’ve taken.
  4. Writers adopt a voice of authority.
  5. Writers use academic and discipline specific vocabulary.
  6. Writers emphasize evidence, often in tables, graphs, and images. (348)

To complete this week’s discussion, go to this site: APUS Digital Commons@APUS Site. There you have two choices for this assignment; you can look at student papers or faculty papers. The direct links to those two choices are shown here:

Student papers (Master’s Capstone Theses)

Faculty papers (Collections, Faculty Publications Collection)

Find a paper that is related to your topic. You can choose either a student or faculty paper. If you don’t find a paper on your topic, just choose one that interests you. You may see the abstract of a paper and can download the paper to read it. As you read the paper, pay close attention to the six features of academic writing noted above. Which standards are present the paper? What standards (if any) are missing? How does the presence or absence of these standards affect the quality of the paper?

To help us locate the papers you have analyzed be sure to provide the paper’s title and recommended citation found on the paper’s website.

Part 2 – Source Evaluation

For the second part of this forum, find an article from the APUS Library on your topic and evaluate the source based on the criteria below. Each criterion is followed by question(s) to help you with your evaluation. Be sure to include the citation for the article, as well as a link so we can look at it.

Title of Article (including proper citation and URL so we can find it)

Peer-reviewed Journal: Is the article from a peer-reviewed journal at APUS Library?

Credible Author: How or why should the author should be considered an expert on your chosen topic?

Reliable Publisher: Who is the publisher? What is the publisher’s reputation? Has this source been published by a scholarly or peer-reviewed press? Is this source available in trusted archives, such as subscription databases? If this is from a website, how stable is that website?

Accuracy: Does the information seem to be accurate? Does the information correspond with or contradict information found in sources known to be reliable? Has the information been peer-reviewed? Is there a reference list available so you can verify the information? Are there any factual errors, statistical flaws, or faulty conclusions?

Current Information: Is the material up to date? If it is from a website, when was it last updated

Objectivity (Bias): Are all sides of the issue/topic treated fairly? Do you detect any bias? (For instance, is the author connected to any institution or foundation that might be paying him, which could suggest bias?)

Benefits of this assignment: This assignment allows you to become familiar with using the Internet and Library to find useful research. This assignment also allows you to start understanding how to evaluate sources for your research assignment.

For the process of writing in a graduate-level course, you are expected to have a solid grasp of writing a well-researched assignment. The Internet offers a large amount of information, but the vast majority of it is not scholarly. Therefore, it is important to be able to identify what is a good resource and what is not. One way to evaluate information is to look at some of the distinguishing factors of the resource, such as the following: 

  • Is the information current and timely? 
  • Is the information relevant and useful? 
  • What is the source of the information, and how legitimate is this source? 
  • Is the information both accurate and objective? 
  • What is the reason and purpose for the information, and is there any bias from the author? 

Be sure to read Evaluating Resources for more information.

Your first task will be to identify a subject that you could conceivably write about in your graduate studies. For example, you may be working on a Masters in Information Technology, and you have an interest in virtual identities. 

NB: I am pursuing Business Administration/Management

Your next step will be to identify 3 resources on the subject using the CTU Library and the Internet (Google Scholar/Peer reviewed journals).

Use this template to complete the remaining steps of this assignment. 

For each article, you should identify which criteria it meets or does not meet. Try to find 1 article that fits each of the following (3 total): 

  • 1 resource should be a high-quality resource that meets all of the criteria. 
  • 1 resource should be a solid-quality resource that meets some of the criteria and could still be useful for your research. 
  • 1 resource should be a poor resource that meets few of the criteria and should not be included in your research. 

Next, write 1–2 sentences discussing the quality of the article. Then, write a short paragraph explaining the subject matter you identified. The paragraph should include the following: 

Review this slide presentation that provides 5 Criteria for Evaluating Websites as a research source.
Read the following articles that provide tips on evaluating sources for research. Take note of ideas that you find especially noteworthy and bring them to class.

Finally, write a properly-formatted APA reference for each resource. Upload your assignment to the Submissions area of this assignment. Review the Individual Project tutorial, if needed. 

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