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ENGL 1221: Writing Seminar

Choosing Sources

Evaluating sources individually to determine if they are appropriate for your research is not enough. It's also important to evaluate your sources as a group to make sure they work together to create a coherent set of sources that helps you make your argument.

To make sure the sources you have selected work together, think about the questions you asked when narrowing your topic. Ask yourself if the sources work together in terms of those questions. Ask yourself:

  • Who—Are the sources talking about the same type of people?
  • What—Are the sources talking about the same aspect of the topic?
  • When—Are the sources talking about the same time period?
  • Where—Are the sources talking about the same place?
  • Why and How—Are the sources talking about the same issues related to the topic?


Below are two lists of article titles on two broad topics: air pollution and video games. Evaluate the sources to determine which ones, if any, could work together as a set of sources for a research project.

Air Pollution

Analysis and Mapping of Air Pollution Using a Geographic Information Systems Approach: A Case Study of Istanbul

Time-Varying Exposure to Air Pollution and Outcomes of in Vitro Fertilization among Couples from a Fertility Clinic

“Belch’d Fire and Rowling Smoke”: Air Pollution in Paradise Lost

Flue Gas Treatability Studies: A Tool for Techno-economic Control of Industrial Air Pollution

Current State of Research on the Risk of Morbidity and Mortality Associated with Air Pollution in Korea

The Two-Way Flow of News: A Comparative Study of American and Chinese Newspaper Coverage of Beijing’s Air Pollution

Lung Function of Children at Three Sites of Varying Ambient Air Pollution Levels in Uganda: A Cross Sectional Comparative Study

Air Pollution, Respiratory Illness and Behavioral Adaptation: Evidence from South Korea

Video Games

The Market Structure of the Video Game Industry: A Platform Perspective

Perceptions of Older Adults on the Use of an Interactive Video Game in Promoting Health and Well-Being

Law and Technology: What Happened to Video Game Piracy?

Enabling Adaptive High-Frame-Rate Video Streaming in Mobile Cloud Gaming Applications

Exploiting Adventure Video Games for Second Language Vocabulary Recall: A Mixed-Methods Study

Gender, Sex and Romance in Role Playing Video Games

Opera Scenes in Video Games: Hitmen, Divas and Wagner’s Werewolves

Foreign Language Practice in Simulation Video Games: An Analysis of Game-Based FL Use Dynamics