DH 1003 Portfolio

Annotate & Argument Mapping
Lit Rev – written, c 500 words, range of academic sources
Collaborative Writing – Towards Topics and Groups
Academic Writing – short reflections on any two of the Academic Writing resources on the Skills Centre’s webpage
Transmedia & Collaborative Writing
Surveys & Interviews
Research Ethics
Needs Requirements for Mock Project.
Collaborative Writing – personal 500 words initial draft
Collaborative Writing – copy of final group piece (to be included by each individual portfolio for completeness)
Final reflection on your own learning (max 400 words)

Locate & Evaluate Sources

The process I go through to find sources goes as follows:

I start off the same way most people start by typing in what it is I am looking for in Google using Google Chrome e.g. Vincent van Gogh timeline. I then look through a few different websites and compare and contrast the data I am given and look up specifics that I want more details on e.g. where did van Gogh live in Arles? I also look at what videos I can find on the subject matter, e.g. Documentaries released for free on YouTube. I then look at when the website(s) published the information to make sure it is up to date and where  the authors to make sure they are reputable sources 

When I’m evaluating sources I have a set list of criteria that I am looking for, number 1 being the most important and number 5 being the least important.

1. Relevancy- Just how relevant is the information provided by the source in terms of the topic? Is there information within this source that is completely unrelated to what I am looking for? How valuable is that extra information? Does it add something worth discussing in my essay or project? This is the most important criteria for me when it comes to sources as I feel that it is important to not deviate too far from the topic being discussed and if there is a small deviation that it benefits the reader in some way. Information to me is like a cupcake. There is the base which is fundamental to the whole thing – the important information that makes the main body of the essay. There is the icing which makes it taste better- in this case, information that isn’t necessarily fundamental to the essay but is still significant enough that it is worth noting. Lastly, there are the sprinkles- this is information that is not really important for the essay or even significant but it is interesting and it adds to the essay as a whole. The important thing when it comes to “sprinkles” is that too many can lead to waffling which is something to be wary of.

2. Currency- Is the information up to date? Have there been further studies that make this source unusable? This is the second most important thing for evaluating information because it keeps information accurate. Producing work and spreading false information is not what anyone wants for an essay; especially in the academic world. It will also help other researchers who might end up referencing your work as a source in theirs.

3. Bias/Authority- How knowledgeable is the creator of the source in question? Is what they have written balanced? Is the language they have used intended to be used to push you in a certain direction or does it allow the reader to draw their own conclusions? It is important for the sources being referenced in your essay to be written by credible sources who are knowledgable in the area. i.e. it shouldn’t be written by someone who has never had anything to do with what they are talking about.

4.  Readability- Does the source make sense? Is it coherent? Does everything make sense? Is the format of the document easy to read? The essay should be accessible to everyone who wants to read it. I.e. it should make sense to anyone reading the source even if they know very little about the topic being discussed. This is important because using a source that is not coherent can cause problems for you when writing your essay; especially if you waste time trying to figure out what the author meant.

5. Index- How easy is it to find specific information one might be looking for within the text? This is the least important piece for me when evaluating a source but it is a good thing to note. Having a source that is easy to navigate can make a world of difference when writing an essay especially if you forgot/ misplaced the page with the information you are looking for or need for your essay.

I based my mind map on a paper I found in 1998 written by Stan Koki. I went with this paper because I wanted to see how much of what been written at the time was still applicable today. I found this paper useful as it was able to find several links to connect storytelling and real-world applications. In saying that I found that it didn’t explore the topic in question to its full capability.  In doing the mind map I found that several of the points I had highlighted in the paper were nearly the exact same thing. In saying that by using this paper and the mind map I was able to develop my own understanding of the topic in question and found that I had things I wanted to add to it. When I put my mind map together I made my three topic branches the same colour as the relevant highlighted note in the document