Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Abstract

Despite the ever-growing range of media types, formats, and information-access options, students are often instructed to only use specific sources in their research. They are sometimes even given strict guidelines, prescribing how many of each they need to, or may, cite. It is important not to lead students to believe there is a formula for the ideal works cited for all research topics. In contrast, students should learn to think critically about the content and appropriateness of each potential source rather than choosing it only because it is a book, a journal article, a Website, etc. This article argues that requiring students to use, or not use, a source based solely on its format or media type encourages students to choose sources for wrong reasons, pushing critical thinking and source-content evaluation to the periphery of their research processes.

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