Evaluating and Choosing a Source

Worth 10 Homework Points

Due Monday, November 1st


Some claim (and worry) that the proliferation of false information has ushered us into a “Post-Truth World.” Although the internet allows us to access information instantly, it also provides an easy platform for liars. The fact-checking website Snopes.com writes that:


The sharp increase in popularity of social media networks (primarily Facebook) has created a predatory secondary market among online publishers seeking to profitably exploit the large reach of those networks and their huge customer bases by spreading fake news and outlandish rumors. Competition for social media’s large supply of willing eyeballs is fierce, and a number of frequent offenders regularly fabricate salacious and attention-grabbing tales simply to drive traffic (and revenue) to their sites. (http://www.snopes.com/2016/01/14/fake-news-sites/)


With this in mind, it seems increasingly important for students (and any other individuals seeking truth) to learn how to evaluate sources for truthfulness, angle, and academic and literary reputation.


For our last paper, you will be working with an essay of your choice. I would like you to select an essay from a formidable source with which to work. For homework: I’d like you to write 500 words (around a page) indicating what essay you choose, what the essay is about, why you are choosing the essay, and why you consider the source acceptable. If the essay comes from the list I provided, “Because it came from the list you provided” is not an acceptable answer. I want you to look for other reasons why this source seems reputable. Please feel free to reference your library visit. Finally, I would like you to brainstorm some connections you plan to make (and explore) between your chosen text, Wasik’s “My Crowd Experiment,” and Restak or Anderson.


Feel free to choose an essay from this list provided by The Electric Typewriter.