Touchstones are projects that illustrate your comprehension of the course material, help you refine skills, and demonstrate application of knowledge. You can

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) interested.

The introduction of this paper will involve introducing the source: After you recap your

research paper’s central argument 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


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SUBMIT TOUCHSTONE

 Currently, it takes about 2-4 business days for a Touchstone to be graded.

UNIT 2 — TOUCHSTONE 2.1:
Evaluate a Source

-/50

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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.

” Sample Touchstone

In order to foster learning and growth, all work you submit must be newly written

specifically for this course. Any plagiarized or recycled work will result in a

Plagiarism Detected alert. Review Touchstones: Academic Integrity Guidelines for

more about plagiarism and the Plagiarism Detected alert. For guidance on the use of

generative AI technology, review Ethical Standards and Appropriate Use of AI.

A. Assignment Guidelines

DIRECTIONS: Refer to the list below throughout the writing process. Do not submit your
Touchstone until it meets these guidelines. Refer to the Sample Touchstone for additional
guidance on structure, formatting, and citation.

1. Source Identification

The introduction of this paper will be introducing the source:

❒ Have you recapped your research paper’s central argument?

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❒ 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, accurate page/paragraph-numbered 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 at least two specific quotations (cited with accurate page/paragraph-

numbers) from the source to illustrate your evaluation of its 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)?

3. Reflection

❒ Have you answered all reflection questions including specific and concrete

examples that provide thoughtful insight 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

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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)

C. Rubric

  Advanced
(100%)

Proficient
(85%)

Acceptable
(75%)

Needs
Improvement
(50%)

Thesis Statement (10
points)
Provide a clear thesis
statement with
sufficient support.

The thesis statement
consists of an original
observation that is
clear, focused, and well-
supported.

The thesis statement
consists of an original
observation that is
adequately supported.

The thesis statement
consists of an
identifiable main idea
that is generally
supported.

The thesis statement
consists of an
identifiable main idea,
but it is not well
supported or does not
match most of essay’s
content.

Evidence and
Analysis (20 points)
Evaluate a single
source based on the
characteristics of
credibility and
usefulness.

The analysis includes
specific and accurate
examples from a
correctly identified
source as support;
claims for credibility
and usefulness are fully
developed.

The analysis includes
accurate examples
from the a correctly
identified source as
support; claims for
credibility and
usefulness are
adequately developed.

The analysis includes
some accurate
examples from a
correctly identified
source, though they are
potentially vague or
abstract; claims for
credibility and
usefulness are
established but need
further development.

The analysis includes
one or two accurate
examples from a
correctly identified
source, but they are of
a vague, abstract
nature; claims for either
credibility or usefulness
are missing.

Organization (5
points)
Exhibit competent
organizational writing
techniques.

Presents all of the
required components
of a source evaluation
essay, including an
engaging introduction
with background
information and a clear
thesis, a body
paragraph or
paragraphs addressing

Presents all of the
required components
of a source evaluation
essay, including an
introduction with
background information
and a clear thesis, a
body paragraph or
paragraphs addressing
the source’s credibility,

Presents nearly all of
the required
components of a
source evaluation
essay; however, one
component is missing.

Presents most of the
required components
of a source evaluation
essay, but is lacking
two components;
sequences ideas and
paragraphs such that
the connections
between ideas (within
and between

3/5/24, 8:43 PM
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