Source Consulted Essay Writing
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What is a Source Consulted Essay?
A source consulted essay is an essay that incorporates material from a specific source. The most common way to format these essays is to use quotation marks and parenthesis (( )) around the material you are using. At the bottom of your page, include a citation that lists the author, title, publication information year etc.
By including all this information, it allows the reader to trace back your source material. This is good because if you are using someone else’s ideas negatively, i.e., if you are arguing against one of their points, they can see what your source said about that point. If you are citing neutral information or facts from someone else’s work, this is also good. If you are quoting from someone in agreement with you, this is not as useful for your reader to know, but it still helps them know who the author of the idea is and what they said about a particular subject.
Know Your Source: Why Source Consulted?
A source consulted essay is different from an annotated bibliography or works cited page. Instead of providing detailed information on all the material used (similar to a standard bibliography), it focuses specifically on one source and provides commentary and feedback on that single work. You can think of it like giving a friend some recommendations for music to listen to and then sending them down to HMV so they can purchase that CD… only in this case, you give your friend the CD instead of buying it for them. When doing academic research, this kind of source consultation is vital to ensure that you get the best available information and identify inconsistencies or reliable points within an article/book, etc.
Format of a Source Consulted Essay Writing
The format of writing a Source Consulted Essay also differs from a standard essay in that you don’t make an argument or conclusions based on the source’s material. You include a quotation of what the author is saying, sometimes with your commentary and then give some background information on the work, so readers know where to look for that specific source if they wish.
Key Considerations :
The introduction is essential for a Source Consulted Essay. It should accomplish three things: Firstly, it should provide enough background information so that any reader who stumbles across your paper can understand what you are talking about (i.e., why would this theory/saying/etc. apply to this particular topic?). Secondly, it should impart some pertinent details regarding your primary source (where it came from, when it was published, who the author is etc.), and thirdly you should introduce your quotation. In some cases, you can start with a quotation, but in most cases, if there are multiple quotations from one source or if they are complex/long, you will need to include an overview of what the quote says before getting into details as to where it comes from. Also, include any commentary that would be necessary, so your reader doesn’t think you’re taking things out of context!
The body of the essay should be broken up into two subsections: The first being a summarization of what the book/article says about your primary topic and secondly presenting other points made in addition (this section can also encompass a critique in some situations).
The conclusion should summarize the article and then provide a commentary about how this research relates to a particular secondary topic, i.e., it should be able to show how your research is relevant beyond just academic pursuits. Finally, include any references/bibliography that would be necessary so your reader can look up the source for themselves if they are interested in reading further on the subject.
Reviews of Sources :
One of the most important things you can do with a Source Consulted Essay is reviewed one of your sources. This could be an interview, book, webpage or another piece of media. Reviewing helps determine its level of reliability and validity by determining whether the presented information is supported by evidence (primarily empirical) or is opinion-based (usually shows up in metaphors, anecdotes or comparisons).
In a Source Consulted Essay, you should provide both positive and negative commentary where possible (i.e., not just what you agreed with from an article but also things you disagreed with). Your review will be more credible if you remain objective and keep your critique as professional as possible.
Evaluating Sources :
When evaluating sources for their strength/value, you need to consider:
- Who the author is (academic background, research etc.)
- What the authors stated purpose was
- The potential bias the author may have had
- Does it reflect current thinking on a topic
- Are there two or more points of view being presented?
- Is there empirical evidence that supports the author’s claims, or is it based on an opinion?
Common Mistakes to Avoid when doing a Source Consulted Essay :
1) Don’t use your interpretation of what a source is saying as its argument. Interpretation and analysis are different things. Your analysis should be based on the source’s material, not your personal feelings about it.
2) Avoid writing summaries that say “this article/book says X, therefore, Y” if you can avoid it! Most high school essays would make this mistake because they don’t include enough information to look up the source to read for yourself. Still, an academic paper requires you to do some independent research, so you have to provide readers with enough background info to track down the source themselves.
It may also be tempting to throw in extra information (as in a paragraph or two of what no one is interested in reading) but try to keep this to a minimum. It would be more effective (and again show your independence of thought!) if you can summarize the article/book then use another paragraph or two at most summarizing what you learned about a secondary topic from reading it…this way, your summary is relevant and valuable as well as keeping readers interest!
3) Avoid quoting directly when doing an academic paper because it isn’t usually emphasized and doesn’t address any secondary issues if you’re writing on one; just stick with having the quotation followed by commentary.
4) Avoid saying things like “This source is credible because…” or “This source carries weight because…” – these phrases are judgmental, opinion-based statements that don’t belong in academic papers (or many other places). Stick to discussing things like how a secondary topic is relevant to your article, how the author frames his argument, or you could even give them an example of something you agree/disagree with and state why.
5) Avoid summing up an entire source’s validity by saying something like “this book is invalid because…” instead stick with “the author’s presentation of information is not well supported by examples” or “there are too many grammatical errors for this source to be taken seriously.”
6 ) Avoid making any claims about what studies say within the context of your paper unless they do say something that way (i.e., don’t claim 1 out of 5 studies found evidence when in fact, only 3 out of 20 studies found evidence if you’re writing about the same five studies).
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