An important part of academic writing is research.


Scholars depend on the credibility of their sources to support the new claims, concepts and ideas they are making in their academic publications.

To use a sports metaphor, as the researcher, imagine that you are the team captain. Your responsibility is to assemble a strong team that will help you present the best, most focused and academically credible case you can make.

To do this, you must examine the academic credentials and "credibility" of your sources. If you use questionable resources, you are weakening your claim and argument from the inside.

Assemble your "Team"

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, depending upon its slant

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

Source Reviews - tell me more...

The research you do for this project is to be used as a foundation for your final writing project (Term paper).

To help you write your paper, focus on the following aspects during your research. Try to read your sources with these questions and purposes in mind:

  • How can this resource help me learn more about my issue and explore the problems and/or controversies which stem from it (what are people arguing about?)
  • Can it help me identify and organize the trends in the scholarly conversation that surrounds my issue?
  • Does it teach me anything new about my issue - or lead me to discover new ideas and new ways of thinking about the issue on my own?
  • What does it tell me about how my ideas fit into the ongoing 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 (Term paper).
  • 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

Adapted from Chimene Burnett

This is a big project, and I would encourage you to use your resources [class discussion, helpful Reference librarians and Library staff, and the CASA Writing Center in order to complete it.

All parts of this project need to be in correct MLA format.

Adapted from Jen Bray & Andrea Montalvo-Hamid


  • You will need a minimum total of 10 academically credible sources for your Term paper.

(You can certainly use more, and if you'd like to include non-academic resources, you may include a limited number in addition to your minimum 10 academic resources)

  • Each source review should be about a page in length
  • All source reviews need to be in correct MLA format
  • You will need to participate in the Peer-Review Workshop
  • You will need to submit two peer-response sheets with the final copy


  • Five Source Reviews will be due on Tuesday, November 15th
  • Five will be due on Thursday, December 1st