Evaluations—Your next essay!

Evaluations—Your next essay!

· Subject

· Context

· Criteria

· Thesis

· Supporting reasons and evidence

Primary sources—sources by the object. First hand accounts. Autobiographies, other works by the same writer/singer/actor/director, etc. or they come from the same time period

Horror movie: Nightmare on Elm Street

Script for Nightmare on Elm Street

Interview with Wes Craven or actors from Nightmare on Elm Street

Reviews written at the first release of Nightmare on Elm Street

Secondary sources—sources about your subject. Biographies, criticism, discussions, interpretations. Usually written after your source is dead.

A biography about Wes Craven

A critical study about 1980s slasher horror films, published in 2010

A critic’s reassessment of Nightmare on Elm Street, published on the 25th anniversary of the film’s release

A history of horror from the silent period to the present (2017)

Using TSU library and databases for finding sources.

Google Scholar

Web sites with suffixes like “org”, “edu”, “gov”. “Com” (Commercial) can also be good, but they need to be vetted more carefully.

Evaluating your source: what criteria should you use to decide if your source will help you?

Credibility of author or whoever is running the website.

Accuracy—can you verify the facts of what they are claiming? Do they seem to be interpreting their facts, statistics, etc. correctly.

Facts, statistics, studies—do they have proof for their claims

Is the source relevant to the topic? Is it helping to inform you more about the subject or giving you more evidence to support your claims?

Timeliness—up to date. Especially if you’re dealing with subjects with constant change, like current events, sciences

Level of specialization—general or specific. What kind of audience

Bias/Stance—How biased are they in their stance on the subject? Does that lead to omitting or ignoring any information that contradicts or challenges their position? Do they address any objections thoughtfully? Do they make fun or or dismiss their opposition or anyone who doesn’t agree with them?

Using either a search engine or TSU databases, find a source relevant to your evaluation topic.

Write out the title of the source, author, web page or publisher, date of publication

Evaluate the source with the following criteria:




Evidence for support


Audience and level of specialization

Bias or Stance towards the subject

Conclude with your statement of the source. Will the source be helpful for your paper and why (or why not).

Turn in to me.

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