Nietz, J. A. (1999). Nietz old textbook collection. Retrieved from
Thompson, T., & Gallagher, A. (2010). When a college professor and a high school teacher read the same papers. In P. Sullivan, H. Tinberg, & S. Blau (Eds.), What is “college-level” writing? Volume 2: Assignments, readings, and student writing samples(pp. 3-28). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. Chapter 2 finding evaluating and incorporating sources Finding, Evaluating, and Incorporating SourcesBy Dr. Thomas SkeenIntroduction In Chapter 1, a variety of invention strategies were introduced that help writers develop ideas about which they can write. This chapter supplements the previous one by focusing on another important set of strategies for developing ideas and incorporating them into writing: strategies that help writers to find, evaluate, and incorporate sources. Finding Sources Researchis an intellectual activity that should go beyond the use of only the first few sources one finds. Writers of any type—academic, journalistic, popular, or professional—should practice active inquiry. In other words, they should find an interest in seemingly uninteresting things, develop a personal stake in an issue, and focus on problems that matter to both the writer and others. Developing Research Questions Good questions help writers engage a topic beyond simply reporting facts. To develop effective research questions, a writer must consider whether the questions: •pique the writer's interest, •focus on problems, and •reveal the potential for gain, risk, or loss. Not all good questions will meet all of the above criteria, though the criteria provide a focus. For example, suppose a student wants to write a paper about e-cigarettes, and he or she develops the following set of research questions: 1.How do e-cigarettes work?
2.What kinds of chemicals do e-cigarettes contain? 3.Who uses e-cigarettes and why? 4.Is there proof that e-cigarettes are harmful or not harmful? 5.Do e-cigarettes cause the same kinds of diseases that cigarettes do, such as cancer or emphysema? 6.Are e-cigarettes a gateway drug? Will they lead to substance abuse? 7.Why can e-cigarette commercials appear on television while ads for regular cigarettes cannot? Notice that the first few questions delve into facts about e-cigarettes, but the last several questions launch into controversial, debatable questions that do not have easy answers. Exercise 1: Develop Research Questions Select a controversial topic and use it to develop some good initial research questions. To generate your list of questions, try writing ones that lead to factual answers as well as questions that lead to controversy and debate. Think of the current problems about which you may have heard. Consider similarities between your topic and a related one. Think about everyday encounters that people like you have with your topic and what problems they may encounter.