Assignment: Evaluate a Source

In this assignment, you will practice using the Four Moves to evaluate a source.

Continue to imagine that you have been assigned a research essay on technology, and you have decided to write about how technology companies use knowledge of human psychology to design their products.

STEP 1: Watch Tristan Harris’s 2017 TED Talk, “How a handful of tech companies control billions of minds every day.” You can stop watching at minute thirteen, where his talk ends and a Q & A begins.

STEP 2: Next, evaluate this source using the “SIFT” acronym from the four moves:

  1. STOP: Consider what biases you might bring to this topic, and in 3-6 sentences, reflect on how you can avoid acting on your biases when approaching this source.
  2. INVESTIGATE: Find information about the author, publication, publication date, and genre of the source. Write about these findings in 3-6 sentences.
  3. FIND BETTER COVERAGE: Find other comparable sources that are discussing this topic (1-3 sources). Post a link to each source, along with a 3-6 sentence discussion (per source) of how it compares with your original source.
  4. TRACE CLAIMS: If possible, find the original source of any claims, quotes, or media. Paste links, and discuss any significant findings from this step.

After writing your answers, go find another source on this same topic, and evaluate this source in the same way you did the TED Talk (again with a minimum of three sentences per point). Keep in mind that you are not looking for a “perfect” source for this assignment. You are just showing that you understand each of the components of the Four Moves and can apply this method to any source.

Finally, reflect on your findings. In 3-5 sentences, discuss what the four moves showed you about the credibility, reliability, and relevance of your sources. Would it be appropriate to use in a research essay?

Rubric

Rubric
Criteria Proficient Developing Not Evident Points
Explains SIFT components in the TED Talk source Thoroughly and insightfully explains how the source meets/does not meet all four SIFT components. Cursorily explains how the source meets/does not meet all five SIFT components. Does not sufficiently explain how the source meets/does not meet all five SIFT components. __/7
Explains SIFT components in the individually chosen source Thoroughly and insightfully explains how the source meets/does not meet all five SIFT components. Cursorily explains how the source meets/does not meet all SIFT components. Does not sufficiently explain how the source meets/does not meet all five SIFT Method components. __/7
Meets length requirement and includes reflection Meets the three-sentence minimum requirement for every component. Meets the three-sentence minimum requirement for some, but not all components. Does not meet the three-sentence minimum requirement for any components. __/4
Writes clearly and accurately Writes in clear, descriptive sentences with no or few grammatical errors. Writes in occasionally unclear sentences with some grammatical errors. Writes in unclear, incorrect, or fragmented sentences with numerous grammatical errors. __/2
Total: __/20

 

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