Quick Write

Why do we use sources?

Critical Thinking and Research

  • Identify important problems.
  • Explore relevant issues.
  • Evaluate available evidence.
  • Consider the implications of the decisions.

Critical thinking is NOT collecting information to support established conclusion.

  • Survey, considering as many perspectives as possible.
  • Analyze, identifying and then separating out the parts of the problem.
  • Evaluate, judging the merit of various ideas, claims, and evidence.

Why Use Sources?

  • To understand an issue
  • See what has come before
  • To find the facts
  • To inform and persuade your audience

You need to understand that research is connected with ethos, an appeal that establishes credibility with readers.

MLA Style

Here is a good explanation of citations in MLA.

Basic MLA Works Cited format:

Author(s). “Article Title.” Source, vol. #, no. #, season year, pp. xx-xx. Database, URL.


Kong, Les. “Business Sources for Education Majors.” Education Graduate Students Journal, vol. 75, no. 4, 2014, pp. 12-19. JSTORhttp://www.jstor.org/stable/52506788.


Ethos is about values. In rhetoric we connect ethos to character, credibility, and trustworthiness. At their core, these concepts have to do with values. We tend to believe and trust those individuals who exemplify the values we cherish, who live the sort of life that we would want to live. Ethos Handout from University of Maryland

Ethos is inferred, NOT possessed. Five strategies for persuading through character.

  1. Personal info
  2. Sources
  3. Identification with Audience
  4. Point of View
  5. Balanced Presentation

5 Ways to Persuade with Character (Ethos) | How to Craft an Argument

Project Drawdown

Chad Frischmann’s TED Talk explaining Project Drawdown


Audience is quite possibly the most important thing to consider when writing an argument. You need to appeal to them, understand their problems, values, and beliefs, in order to convince them of your point of view.

Who your audience is should influence how you present your argument.

Who your audience is should influence how you present yourself.

Determine what is important to your audience. What do they really care about? What do they value?

Finding Material

  • Finding Quality Information Online (251)
  • Finding Articles Using Library Databases (254)
  • Locating Books (255)
  • Interviewing Peers and Local Authorities (256)

Evaluating Your Sources

Remember the Acronym CRAAP

  • C current
  • R relevant
  • A author
  • A accurate
  • P purpose

Ask yourself: “Am I choosing sources that represent a range of ideas, not simply ones that support my opinion?”

Taking Notes

  • Checklist for Evaluating Print Sources (262)
  • Checklist for Evaluating Electronic Sources (263)

Plagiarizing, Paraphrasing, and Common Knowledge

  • Checklist for Avoiding Plagiarism (267)

Compiling an Annotated Bibliography

  • Summary of Source, 2-4 sentences
  • How you are using it in your report, 1-3 sentences
  • Reliability of source, 1-3 sentences

Writing the Paper

  • Organizing Your Notes
  • The First Draft
  • Later Drafts
  • Organization
  • Choosing a Tentative Title
  • The Final Draft

Quoting From Sources

  • Incorporating your reading into Your Thinking: The Art and Science of Synthesis
  • The Use and Abuse of Quotation
  • How to Quote


  • Use MLA or APA style
  • Note on Footnotes (and End notes)
  • MLA Format: Citations within the Text
  • MLA Format: The List of Works Cited
  • Checklist for Critical Papers Using Sources (306)

Rhetorical Analysis Notes

  1. Make sure to describe the text you are analyzing to your audience. Explain what you see and how you see it. Don’t just refer to the image, paint a picture with words.
  2. Clearly describe the methods of persuasion being used. If they are using a celebrity, make sure to highlight that and the corresponding appeal being used.

Checklist for Analyzing Images (Especially Advertisements) on page 145 of our textbook is very thorough and helpful for analyzing visual images.

Page 181 has a checklists for analyzing a text. Use these as guidelines to begin your analysis.

Page 191 has a checklist for writing your analysis of an argument. Very helpful for the early stages of drafting.