Analytical thinking

CONCEPT REDESIGN

Learning Goal: 1.1 Analytical thinking

Dimension: Acquires, analyzes, and evaluates information from multiple sources.

 

Description: In this assignment, you will write a 5-6 page paper answering a question related to course content and critiquing the accuracy and reliability of your sources. You will:

  • Choose a ONE of the following topics that is relevant to this class:
    1. Gender inequality

    2. Race/ethnicity

    3. Poverty

    4. Globalization

    5. Population

    6. Immigration

  • Choose a question that relates to this topic within the course:
    1. Example question addressing the course concept, gender inequality: “Since women in the United States now do not have access to free birth control, what has been the impact of this policy change?”
    2. Example question addressing the course concept, race/ethnicity: “How has policy concerns regarding gun control affected minority populations in the United States?”
    3. Example question addressing the course concept, population: “Since the “one-child” policy in China is no longer in place, what has been its impact on Chinese culture?
    4. Example question addressing the course concept, immigration: “How has the decline of immigration from Mexico impacted the U.S. economy?”
  • Identify THREE different sources that you can use to answer your question.

These sources might include: Google, Wikipedia, social media, library, newspaper, or article databases. You must include proper citation of your sources so that someone else would be able to find the article.

  • Write an essay answering your question and critiquing the sources you use to answer it.

 

Paper format:

(Your paper does not necessarily need to be divided into 6 paragraphs specifically. For instance, you might want to include more than one paragraph to address the background section of your paper. However, the overall structure of your paper should follow this format)

  • Make sure each section of your paper has the appropriate heading.
    • Example: Introduction, Background, Methodology, Conclusion, Bibliography

Paragraph 1: Introduction

  • State the course topic you are trying to address. Highlight this course concept in yellow.
    • Why are you trying to address this topic?
    • How does it relate to class content?
      • Cite the class content which relates to your topic.
    • At the end of your introduction, state the question you are trying to answer. Highlight the question you are trying to answer in blue.

Paragraph 2(ish): Background

  • Write one (or more) paragraphs summarizing how your sources answer your question.
  • Use in-text citations to show where you found the information you are summarizing.
    • Example: “According to the book, ‘_____’, 1 in 4 girls report being sexually assaulted while at college.”

Paragraph 3-5 (ish): Methodology

  • Critique the methods that your research sources use to answer the question.
  • Paragraph 3 (ish):
    • State your first source
    • What type of source is it (Book, website, etc.)?
    • Why did you decide to use this source?
    • What are some strengths of this source? Highlight these strengths in Green.
    • What are some weaknesses of this source? Highlight these weaknesses Red.
  • Paragraph 4(ish):
    • State your second source
    • What type of source is it (Book, website, etc.)?
    • Why did you decide to use this source?
    • What are some strengths of this source? Highlight these strengths in Green.
    • What are some weaknesses of this source? Highlight these weaknesses Red.
  • Paragraph 5(ish):
    • State your third source
    • What type of source is it (Book, website, etc.)?
    • Why did you decide to use this source?
    • What are some strengths of this source? Highlight these strengths in Green.
    • What are some weaknesses of this source? Highlight these weaknesses Red.

 

Things to consider when examining the strengths/weaknesses of your sources:

  • Is your source reliable? How do you know?
  • Did your source research your question itself or does it report what others have found?
    • If it reports what others have found, does it appear to cite information from a reputable source?
  • Does your source appear bias about the topic? Does your source have a reputation of eliciting any biases when reporting information in general?
    • Example: Does your source tend to favor liberal or conservative perspectives?
  • Do any of your sources contradict each other? If so, how?
  • Is your source recent? If not, do you think that your source is weaker because it is older? Why or why not?
  • If your source conducts its own research, can you think of any shortcomings in how they conducted their research?
    • Example: Did they ask the right questions to the right people?
  • Is the writer of your source credible? Do they appear to have the qualifications to answer your question accurately? Is your source peer-reviewed?

 

Paragraph 6 (ish): Conclusion

  • Summarize the answer to your question in 1-2 sentences. Highlight this summary in pink.
  • Reflect on whether your sources allow you to answer your research question.
    • Do you think your sources provide diverse perspectives that allow you to make a conclusion about the accuracy of your answer?
    • Do you think your sources are reliable enough to answer your question definitively?

 

Bibliography:

  • Cite your THREE sources using either APA or MLA format. (Though you should have cited the course content that relates to your topic within the paper, you do not need to include it in your bibliography)

 

 

 

ASSESSMENT RUBRIC: COURSE CONCEPT REDESIGN

 

Learning Goal: Analytical Thinking

Dimension: Acquires, analyzes, and evaluates information from multiple sources

 

 

Component Criterion Points
Introduction 0 points: Does not connect topic to course content or provide a research question used to examine the topic.

1 point:

2 points: Vaguely discusses how topic addresses course content and/or does not state that they are attempting to answer a research question of appropriate scope and depth.

3 points:

4 points: Provides a strong argument for how the paper topic corresponds to course content and states that they are attempting to answer a research question of appropriate scope and depth.

 

 

/4

Background 0 points: Does not summarize the information cited to answer the research question.

1 point:

2 points: Provides a weak summary of the sources used to answer the research question.

3 points:

4 points: Provides an in-depth but concise summary of the sources used to answer the research question.

 

 

/4

Quality of Sources 0 points: Does not attempt to provide or analyze any of the sources used to answer the question.

1 point:

2 points: Provides a weak critique of all sources or provides a strong critique of only 1 or 2 sources used to answer the research question.

3 points:

4 points: Provides an in-depth critique of the quality of each source used to answer the research question.

 

 

/4

Conclusion 0 points: Does not reflect on sources or provide a strong answer to the research question.

1 point:

2 points: Weakly reflects on sources and/or weakly answers the research question.

3 points:

4 points: Strongly reflects on sources and provides a clear answer to the research question.

 

/4

Grammar/

Writing style

0 points: There are numerous grammar and spelling errors There appears to be no organization of the essay’s contents; it is a list of facts.

1 point:  The essay has numerous errors that interfere with reading.

2 points: Facts, terms, and concepts are present but with little evidence that student understands their use.

3 points: Student answered the questions with minimal explanation or discussion

4 points: Student answered all aspects of the questions. The writing is clear and concise, with few if any errors.

 

/4

SUM

 

             /20

 

 

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