Source Reviews

Project Overview

For our next project you will find sources for Dr. Brown's South Texas History Project and evaluate them to help you with the online exhibit and a final essay which counts in History, Composition, and Seminar. You will need to gather a variety of academic sources on your topic, then review those sources in order to:

1) deepen your understanding of the topic as you proceed through your sources,

2) evaluate how reliable each source is, and

3) enter into an ongoing conversation or debate about your event/issue.

This is a big project, and we will spend time in class, in the Library, and in the Writing Center in order to complete it. We will also use all stages of the writing process for this project to ensure you submit polished final products rather than "shitty first drafts." You may use the text from History for this assignment if you'd like, as well as your notes from lecture to help you with the historical context for this project.

Source Reviews - What are they?

Well, the research you do for this project is to be used as a foundation for your final writing project. Keeping this in mind, you will use the processes of research and writing your literature review for the following reasons:

  • To gain knowledge about your issue and explore the human troubles which stem from it
  • To identify and organize the trends in the scholarly conversation that surrounds your issue
  • To discover your own ideas and thinking about the issue
  • To determine how your ideas fit in the scholarly conversation

In addition to providing you with the information listed just above, the source reviews will help you gain experience with the following activities:

  • Scholarly research – searching and locating literature using library and internet resources; identifying useful articles for your argument for building your argument for your argumentative research essay
  • Analysis – evaluating and choosing sources relevant and useful for building your argument for your argumentative research essay and arranging the information gathered into an organized framework
  • Synthesis –demonstrating and explaining how each source interacts with other sources within the organizational framework
  • Writing processes – prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing

What Information Should You Include?

  • Summary
    • Summarize the article.
    • What is the argument or purpose? What is the explicit or implicit argument or conclusion of the text?
  • Does the source use any key words? If so, what are they?
  • Evaluate the source. How does this help you with your Online Exhibit? How does this source help you create interview questions? Why is this source significant to your work?
  • Do your sources support each other?


  • Provide citations. You can format your review as an annotated bibliography by putting the full citation above the review. If you choose to format your review in a different manner, make sure to provide a Works Cited page.
  • Write a total of 2 reviews, one-page each. Double-spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman, 1-inch margins, MLA formatting for document and citations.

Adapted from Andrea Montalvo