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CO 122: Analytic and Persuasive Writing

This guide lists resources for your assignments in CO122.

Group Activity - Evaluating Sources

Part 1: ACTIVITY: Researching Controversial Issues 

Key resources

  • Opposing Viewpoints database - see link below as well as similar resources on the web
  • Newspapers (via OneSearch, Google News, or Newspaper page)
    • Focus on opinion pieces, editorials as well as news coverage

Part 2: IN-CLASS RESEARCH: Pick one of the following prompts for your paper and explore sources using examples shown in class

(Chapter 20: pages 377- 484)

1) Are gated communities, x, y, or z practices justified in America, or do they further foster division? by Dr. Rich Benjamin, Boyd

2) Is “All Lives Matter” an appropriate response to “Black Lives Matter”? by Coryell

3) Is “pulling yourself up from your bootstraps” really possible for the working poor? by J. D. Vance, Pruitt

4) Should state employees (i.e. courts, legal systems, etc.) schools, x, y, z, be trained in understanding Black English? by McWhorter

5) Are immigration practices in the United States appropriate? by Mehta, Frum

Sources for debates and controversial issues

Ideas for debate topics, organized by theme and current events:

Fact Checking Tools

Resources for fact checking:

Library Reference Databases:

Using the CRAAAP Test to Evaluate Sources

The CRAAAP test provides a quick way to evaluate a source and includes the following guidelines:

Currency: Is it timely?
Is the information current or outdated? What is the publication date? How timely should a source be given your topic area?

Relevance: Is it important?
Is this source appropriate for your topic? Who is the intended audience?  Are you comfortable citing this?

Authority (Reliability): Is it credible
Who is the publisher or sponsor of the source? Are they trustworthy?  Who is the author?  Are they qualified to write about the topic? Do they have a history of publishing about this topic?

Access: Is it close to the source?
Is this a primary or secondary source?  How close are the authors to the original data/information/event being discussed?

Accuracy: Is it reliable?
What evidence is available to support claims? What is the quality of evidence? Do they cite peer-reviewed journals? Can claims be proven by other sources?  What type of reasoning is used? Is it written objectively?

Purpose: Why does it exist?
What is the purpose of the source? Do they have alternative motivations? Do you sense any bias?

* This modified CRAAP test is adapted from the CLS Meriam Library in Chico.