This [SUPERB] handout will discuss strategies to evaluate secondary printed sources—books, journal articles, magazines, etc.—based on three criteria: objectivity, authority, and applicability to your particular assignment. Printed sources, whether primary or secondary, provide the evidence for most of the academic essays you will write in college. Non-print sources, such as webpages, works of art (performance and fine), and interviews often provide significant source material for analysis but are not covered in this handout.
Do you have difficulty discerning whether information on a website is reliable to support your scholarly claims? This expert opinion published on the APA Style Blog addresses how a scholarly writer might discern whether information found on an internet site is from reliable sources and accurately represents the most up-to-date information available.
These excellent University of Colorado State guides focus on working with the sources you've collected for a writing process, and the site includes handouts on topics such as "Reading the World Wide Web," Developing a Working Bibliography," and "Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism."
EXCELLENT VIDEO from Walden University (one hour): Demonstrating critical thinking through writing is one of the tasks of a scholar. This webinar explores some strategies on how to incorporate critical thinking in your writing, highlighting how to use sources to support your own ideas and focusing on creating a thesis statement. NOTE: To view this webinar you must download the free Adobe Connect app. Additional resources, slides, and handouts are available. This instructional content was created by the Walden University Writing Center and is reused under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This site offers steps for working with sources and creating a draft. It describes how to elaborate on and organize your ideas and how to shape and structure an argument using transitions. It offers links for incorporating an introduction and conclusion.
Szymanski, E. (n.d.) Synthesis notes: Working with sources to create a first draft. Writing Commons. https://writingcommons.org/article/synthesis-notes-working-with-sources-to-create-a-first-draft/
There are two advantages to this technique for responding to readings and sources: First, it helps you think about your subject; second, it helps you step away from your sources and discover your own approach and voice.