Touchstones are projects that illustrate your comprehension of the course material, help you refine skills, and demonstrate application of knowledge. You can
work on a Touchstone anytime, but you can't submit it until you have completed the unit’s Challenges. Once you've submitted a Touchstone, it will be graded
and counted toward your final course score.
Touchstone 2.1: Evaluate a Source
ASSIGNMENT: For this essay, you will select one of the sources that you intend to support your argument. Which source you choose is up to you;
however, it should be substantial enough that you will be able to talk about it at length, and intricate enough that it will keep you (and your reader)
The introduction of this paper will involve introducing the source: After you recap your argument, provide the author, the title, and the context (where you
found the source, where it was originally published, who sponsored it, etc.)
You will then go on to evaluate the source on two levels:
. Credibility (at least one full paragraph): Using the information in this unit as a guide, evaluate the source’s authenticity and reliability. Look at
all the information that you can find about the source to establish the author’s (or sponsor’s) trustworthiness.
. Usefulness (at least one full paragraph): Using a combination of summary and analysis, examine the source on a critical level. Determine
what the source’s purpose (thesis) is, and how it arrives at that goal. Examine its value to you and the project you are working on. How will it
help you prove your own points? How might it come in handy to back up a claim (or address a counter-claim)?
Finally, you will include a conclusion which shows your final assessments on both counts.
In order to foster learning and growth, all essays you submit must be newly written specifically for this course. Any recycled work will be sent back with a
0, and you will be given one attempt to redo the Touchstone.
A. Assignment Guidelines
DIRECTIONS: Refer to the list below throughout the writing process. Do not submit your Touchstone until it meets these guidelines.
Not Submitted Submitted Scored
You can submit this Touchstone when the previous Touchstone has beenscored. SUBMIT TOUCHSTONE
It takes 5-7 business days for a Touchstone to be graded once it's been submitted.
UNIT 2 — TOUCHSTONE 2.1: Evaluate a SourceSCORE
1. Source Identification
The introduction of this paper will be introducing the source:
❒ Have you recapped your research paper’s argument?
❒ Have you provided the author's name?
❒ Have you provided the source title?
❒ Have you provided the context (where you found the source, where it was originally published, who sponsored it, etc.)?
❒ Have you ended the introduction with a thesis statement that sums up your evaluation of the source’s credibility and usefulness?
2. Source Evaluation
❒ Have you provided an evaluation on the source's credibility in at least one full paragraph?
❒ Have you used specific examples from the source to illustrate your evaluation on credibility?
❒ Have you provided a judgment on the source's usefulness in at least one full paragraph?
❒ Have you used specific, cited examples from the source to illustrate your evaluation on usefulness?
❒ Did you include a reference list with complete source data such as author(s)’ name(s), date of publication, title, publication outlet or journal, an URL
address (if available)?
❒ Have you answered all reflection questions thoughtfully and included insights, observations, and/or examples in all responses?
❒ Are your answers included on a separate page below the main assignment?
B. Reflection Questions
DIRECTIONS: Below your assignment, include answers to all of the following reflection questions.
. What types of questions did you ask yourself when evaluating the credibility and usefulness of your source? (2-3 sentences)
. How do you feel this evaluation practice will help you as you continue to move through the research process? (2-3 sentences)
Advanced (100%) Proficient (85%) Acceptable (75%) NeedsImprovement (50%)
Thesis Statement (10points)
Provide a clear thesisstatement with sufficientsupport.
The thesis statement consistsof an original observation thatis clear, focused, and well-supported.
The thesis statement consistsof an original observation thatis adequately supported.
The thesis statementconsists of an identifiablemain idea that is generallysupported.
The thesis statement consistsof an identifiable main idea,but it is not well supported ordoes not match most ofessay's content.
The thesis statement ismissing or completelyunsupported.
Evidence and Analysis(20 points)
Evaluate a single source
The analysis includes specificexamples from the text assupport; claims for credibilityand usefulness are fully
The analysis includesexamples from the text assupport; claims for credibilityand usefulness are adequately
The analysis includes someexamples from the text,though they are of apotentially vague or
The analysis includes one ortwo examples from the text,but they are of a vague,abstract nature; claims for
The analysis includes little tono examples for support;there are no establishedclaims for either credibility or
Advanced (100%) Proficient (85%) Acceptable (75%) NeedsImprovement (50%)
based on thecharacteristics ofcredibility andusefulness.
developed. developed. abstract; claims forcredibility and usefulnessare established but needfurther development.
either credibility or usefulnessare missing.
Organization (5 points)
Exhibit competentorganizational writingtechniques.
Presents all of the requiredcomponents of a sourceevaluation essay, including anengaging introduction withbackground information and aclear thesis, a body paragraphor paragraphs addressing thesource's credibility, a bodyparagraph or paragraphsaddressing the source'susefulness, and a conclusionwith a concluding statement.
Presents all of the requiredcomponents of a sourceevaluation essay, including anintroduction with backgroundinformation and a clear thesis,a body paragraph orparagraphs addressing thesource's credibility, a bodyparagraph or paragraphsaddressing the source'susefulness, and a conclusionwith a concluding statement.
Presents nearly all of therequired components of asource evaluation essay;however, one component ismissing.
Presents most of the requiredcomponents of a sourceevaluation essay, but is lackingtwo components; sequencesideas and paragraphs suchthat the connections betweenideas (within and betweenparagraphs) are sometimesunclear and the reader mayhave difficulty following theprogression of the essay.
Lacks several or all of thecomponents of a sourceevaluation essay; sequencesideas and paragraphs suchthat the connectionsbetween ideas (within andbetween paragraphs) areoften unclear and the readerhas difficulty following theprogression of the essay.
Style (5 points)
Establish a consistent,informative tone andmake thoughtful stylisticchoices.
Demonstrates thoughtful andeffective word choices, avoidsredundancy and impreciselanguage, and uses a widevariety of sentence structures.
Demonstrates effective wordchoices, primarily avoidsredundancy and impreciselanguage, and uses a variety ofsentence structures.
Demonstrates generallyeffective style choices, butmay include occasionalredundancies, impreciselanguage, poor wordchoice, and/or repetitivesentence structures.
Frequently includes poor wordchoices, redundancies,imprecise language, and/orrepetitive sentence structures.
Consistently demonstratespoor word choices,redundancies, impreciselanguage, and/or repetitivesentence structures.
Conventions (5 points)
Follow conventions forstandard written English.
There are only a few, if any,negligible errors in grammar,punctuation, spelling,capitalization, formatting, andusage.
There are occasional minorerrors in grammar, punctuation,spelling, capitalization,formatting, and usage.
There are some significanterrors in grammar,punctuation, spelling,capitalization, formatting,and usage.
There are frequent significanterrors in grammar,punctuation, spelling,capitalization, formatting, andusage.
There are consistentsignificant errors in grammar,punctuation, spelling,capitalization, formatting, andusage.
Reflection (5 points)
Answer reflectionquestions thoroughlyand thoughtfully.
Demonstrates thoughtfulreflection; consistently includesinsights, observations, and/orexamples in all responses,following or exceedingresponse length guidelines.
Demonstrates thoughtfulreflection; includes multipleinsights, observations, and/orexamples, following responselength guidelines.
Primarily demonstratesthoughtful reflection, butsome responses arelacking in detail or insight;primarily follows responselength guidelines.
Shows limited reflection; themajority of responses arelacking in detail or insight, withsome questions leftunanswered or falling short ofresponse length guidelines.
No reflection responses arepresent.
The following requirements must be met for your submission to be graded:
• Composition must be 2-3 pages (approximately 500-750 words).
• Double-space the composition and use one-inch margins.
• Use a readable 12-point font.
• All writing must be appropriate for an academic context.
• Composition must be original and written for this assignment.
• Plagiarism of any kind is strictly prohibited.
• Submission must include your name, the name of the course, the date, and the title of your composition.
• Include all of the assignment components in a single file.
• Acceptable file formats include .doc and .docx.
E. Additional Resources
The following resources will be helpful to you as you work on this assignment:
. Purdue Online Writing Lab's APA Formatting and Style Guide
a. This site includes a comprehensive overview of APA style, as well as individual pages with guidelines for specific citation types.
. Frequently Asked Questions About APA Style
a. This page on the official APA website addresses common questions related to APA formatting. The "References," "Punctuation," and "Grammar and
Writing Style" sections will be the most useful to your work in this course.
. APA Style: Quick Answers—References
a. This page on the official APA Style website provides numerous examples of reference list formatting for various source types.
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