Evaluating the Content

  • What did you learn from this source? (in general terms)
  • What is the thesis or claim of this reading? Is there a perspective or slant that you can identify?
  • Does this source acknowledge opposing viewpoint(s)? Does it do so fairly?
  • Is this piece intended as an argument? Is it an effective one?
  • How does this information connect to or contradict other sources you are reading on this topic?
  • Are there sources cited in this reading that you would find useful? That you would distrust?
  • Other observations?
  • Would this source be valuable to link to, or does it serve a different purpose for your writing?

Evaluating the rhetorical setting (who is talking to whom)

  • Who is the author(s) and what is his/her expertise in the subject? (Note: if your source is written anonymously, what might that suggest? If it is a government document, what does that mean?)
  • What do you think is the motive or purpose of the author?
  • Who do you think is the intended readership/audience for this source? How does that affect its content and language?
  • How does the writer try to persuade readers (ethos? logos? pathos?)
  • Other observations?