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Exploring Expert Sources

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Unit Overview

During this unit, you will:

  1. Watch a video and take a quiz.
  2. See how to use the Articles - Evaluate Your Source checklist to evaluate articles.
  3. Apply your knowledge by finding and evaluating relevant articles for your research project and share your findings with your peers.

Prep Activities

1. Watch and take notes on the video below.


2. Take the Unit 4 Quiz located in the Quizzes area of our course on Canvas.

Guided Activities

To complete the Guided Activities, watch the two videos below. The videos refer to documents posted at the bottom of the Guided Activities area.

Application Activities

To apply what you have learned in this unit, use the Reynolds Library databases to find some articles (both scholarly and popular) that will help you to answer one or more of your research questions (the main question or one of your sub-questions). Then, you should evaluate them using the Articles - Evaluate Your Source checklist posted under Guided Activities to determine whether the sources are authoritative. Be sure to complete one checklist per source, and be sure the checklists make it into your Research Folder.

In addition to finding authoritative sources for your research project, use the collecting_interpreting template in the Course Materials area of Canvas to take notes on and think about the relevant material in the sources. The relevant material is the information that helps to answer one or more of your research questions (the main question or one of your sub-questions). Be sure to complete one collecting_interpreting document per source, and be sure the documents make it into your Research Folder.


  • You should be actively engaged in finding and thinking about sources in relation to the questions you are trying to answer. More effort now will mean less struggle later because active engagement with content will in turn help to generate the content of your paper.
  • Notice in the statement just above I didn't say "no struggle." Writing is difficult even under the best circumstances. Plan for the struggle, and help yourself out by thinking critically about what you are reading and noting--in the interpreting column--your observations about what the author is saying.
  • As you collect_interpret, don't forget to think about the logic of the text. What is the author's purpose or agenda? What question is the author trying to answer? What are his or her conclusions? What concepts do you need to be aware of to fully understand the line of reasoning? Incorporating the elements into your note-taking effort can help you to see the logic of an argument (or lack thereof).

If you need help finding sources, contact a librarian using the information to the left of this page. 

If you have questions about the assignment, please post them to the FAQ forum.