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engagement_with_assigned_sources [2021/10/07 23:38] (current)
ntnsndr created
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 +# Engagement with assigned sources
 +My courses frequently require engagement with assigned sources. Let me explain what that means in more depth than the syllabus allows.
 +The purpose is to evaluate students'​ comprehension with the texts and other media assigned in the course syllabus. Think of it as an open-book quiz. I do this so that more artificial evaluations like exams are not necessary. But in order for this purpose to be achieved, I want to see that you can do the following:
 +* **Summarize** a central idea of the source with accuracy and precision—and in your own words, with or without quotations.
 +* **Apply** that idea to the analysis of something external to the source, such as your own research topic.
 +* Approach the idea **critically**,​ with a well informed analysis of its insights and shortcomings.
 +Take your time with this. Dwell with the source as long as necessary to accomplish these goals.
 +A few pitfalls to avoid:
 +* *Using the source in a way that is superfluous or superficial*. If it is tacked on, readers will know it. Make sure the engagement contributes something useful to the project in which it appears.
 +* *Relying too heavily on quotations*. If all you do is quote the source, I will not know that you actually understand it. Choice quotes are great, but what you say in your own words matters much more.
 +* *Interpreting part of the source out of context*. If a writer outlines an idea in order to argue against it, do not act as if that idea is the writer'​s own point. Make sure to interpret any part of the source in light of the whole.