Today we are spending most of our time workshopping your ideas for the Truthometer post. We’ll also work on talking about those studies you checked out last week. Before we do that, I wanted to see if you had any questions with WordPress. I was planning to give you some time to tweak those a bit, but they were so impressive I scrapped that.
According to a recent study…
For your 4th blog post, I asked you to go upstream on a news report that cites a recent study. There were a number of news stories to choose from in the headlines last week, including:
- River Vale, New Milford among safest towns in New Jersey after study
- Drinking alcohol can clear brain waste, study finds
- New cell phone and health studies don’t eliminate uncertainty
- Trump supporters are particularly susceptible to fake news, new study says
- Two Bacteria Revealed as Culprits Behind Colon Cancer in New Study
These were just a few. Did anyone choose these news sources or follow up on a similar study? How did your searches go? Did anyone find an impact factor? Did you use Google Scholar? Did you “accurately summarize the state of research and the consensus of experts in a given area, taking into account majority and significant minority views” as Caulfield suggests? How hard was this, being an outsider? What does Caulfield say about this? Hint:
Often you are not in a position to critically read original scholarly research because it takes many years to develop the knowledge and literacies required to become an expert. That’s one of the reasons you are in college. This expertise can be observed if you try to pick up a journal from any given field. What makes these journals really credible, however, is the process of peer review. What is peer-review? The library at NC State explains it quite succinctly in this YT video:
Yet, for all of the credibility peer-reviewed journals muster, sometimes these journals are not even immune to the effects of the web. Consider the article, “The Case for Colonialism,” which was published in Third World Quarterly last month. Do some quick searching to find out about how this was received by the wider academic community, and what other sources say about this journal and the author. Are they the same? Although this is a rare case, why is it important to read laterally? What else might we find when we read laterally?
Workshop your 3 ideas for the Truthometer post
STEP 1: Open a new document in your WRT folder in Google Drive. Name this “Feedback on Truthometer ideas” and add your name and the specific post’s URL to your post at the top of the page. Be sure to grab the link from the copy tool at the top of your dash window and not the browser URL (otherwise the link from the dashboard will send users to their own WP dash — confusing, I know).
STEP 2: Copy and paste the following bullets at the top of your document:
- For each source this author listed, what specific information would be fact-checked? Which idea would require the most research? Which would require the least?
- Map “the moves” that would be required for each potential choice. Which posts would require discussing previous fact-checks? How many times would this require going upstream? How much lateral reading would this post describe? How many sources? Check up on the author’s preliminary work.
- Would writing this post help clarify expert consensus about a fact that is often debated or confusing, or would it merely confirm what we already know?
- What media should be used in this post? Which sources should this post link to?
- What tags could be used for this post?
STEP 3: In a new tab or window, go to this spreadsheet and find your name in the Owner/Author column. Copy the emails of the three readers next to your name. Toggle back to your document and click the blue share button at the top right. Add these email addresses to the “share with others” field. Make sure they can edit.
STEP 4: Help each other. In a moment you should receive invitations to respond to three authors (look in your Shared With Me folder in Drive). Follow the link to the Google Doc and then to the WP post then answer the questions by writing a ¶ to the author. Sign your name so they can come to you with questions. Ultimately you are trying to help the author decide which of these 3 ideas are the most appropriate for the Truthometer task. Put another way, you are checking up on their ideas to see which are viable. The bulleted questions, then, are meant to guide this process. Again, be sure to sign your feedback and clearly separate it from other respondents. Aim to respond to at least two peers in class today, if not all three.
Homework for 2/14
- Draft your Truthometer post. On Wednesday we will have representatives from the Writing Center assisting us in running a workshop with these drafts. The more you have done, the more advanced your draft will be. The more advanced your draft will be, the more advanced your final will be. Make sense?