Purpose: The quality of your research often depends on the

Purpose: The quality of your research often depends on the quality of the sources and evidence you use. This is why professors often prefer scholarly sources—ones published in peer-reviewed publications (in academic journals and university presses, for example) by experts. But sometimes it’s not easy to tell what makes for a scholarly source. In this assignment, we’ll answer a few questions that help us evaluate sources and practice a few other techniques that help us find more sources.

Task: This assignment has two parts. For part two, I encourage you to look for sources most relevant to your final essay topic. (Essay topic is Political Causes of Mexican Revolution) You will be able to reuse them for the final draft.

  1. Use FSU libraries to locate to following source and use it to answer these questions: Stewart, Parker. 2017. “Hernan Cortez Conquering the Aztecs.” Kentucky English Bulletin 67 (1): 60–62.
    • Who is the author? What are their qualifications?
    • Where was it published? Is it a scholarly publication?
    • What kinds of evidence does the article rely on?
    • Would you rely on this paper for your final essay? Why or why not?
  2. Choose course reading The Mexican Revolution (attached below) and check the bibliography, footnotes, or endnotes. Find a published source whose title looks interesting to you (this is also called backward citation tracing). Find the source, skim it, and answer the following:
    • Who is the author? What are their qualifications?
    • Where was it published? Is it a scholarly publication?
    • What kinds of evidence does the article rely on?
    • Would you rely on this paper for your final essay? Why or why not?
    • Include a Chicago-style citation.
  3. Look up the same source on Google Scholar and find the corresponding entry. Click the “cited by” link to find other sources that cite your source. From this list, find a published source whose title looks interesting to you (this is also forward citation tracing). Find the source, skim it, and answer the following:
    • Who is the author? What are their qualifications?
    • Where was it published? Is it a scholarly publication?
    • What kinds of evidence does the article rely on?
    • Would you rely on this paper for your final essay? Why or why not?
    • Include a Chicago-style citation.

Note: you should end up with two scholarly sources: one you located via backward citation tracing, and one you located via forward citation tracing. You can use both of these in your final paper.

 

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