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HMEC 2000 Course Guide: Analyzing Sources

Facilitating and Guiding Students' Learning ...

INDEX

Organizing Your Paper

You have gathered useful sources and developed relevant points that constitute your analysis.  In order to incorporate your analysis and communicate it effectively in a paper, "the paper should be organized in a manner that moves from general to specific information" (Purdue OWL, 2010).  Refer to the following paragraph to organize your analysis:

For further readings, refer to the selected sections from the Purdue OWL* site:

* Online Writing Lab at Purduethe English DepartmentPurdue University

How Can I Make My Writing Flow Better?

Comparing Information

One way to analyze information before writing a comparison text is to create a chart containing the information you have found. The chart could contain high level information about your articles. (See Example 1 below.) This type of chart will help you compare what the authors did to collect their information and what they found; charting information in this way can be helpful in explaining key differences in the findings of various studies.


You can also create a chart that compares the various authors' points of view on specific chunks of information. (See Example 2 below.) This type of chart helps you compare the emphases that different scholars place on different pieces of information and to identify where you stand in relation to their various points of view.


Example 1: A Chart Comparing the Methods, Samples and Results of Three Studies



Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Method

Sample

(e.g. size, location,

age, gender)

Results



Example 2: A Chart Comparing What Three Sources Have to Say about Factors in Language Learning

   

Source 1

Source 2 Source 3
Language aptitude

Note what Source 1 says about the role of aptitude in language learning


Note what Source 2 says about the role of aptitude in language learning
Note what Source 3 says about the role of aptitude in language learning
Motivation

Note what Source 1 says about motivation in language learning


Note what Source 2 says about motivation in language learning
Note what Source 3 says about motivation in language learning
Risk-taking with the language

Note what Source 1 says about taking risks in language learning


Note what Source 2 says about taking risks in language learning
Note what Source 3 says about taking risks in language learning


The Writing and Speaking Tutorial Services at NC State University has created an excellent handout called "Writing a Literature Review and Using a Synthesis Matrix" with an explanation and sample of this type of chart. Visit their website for more information! 


Comparing and Contrasting Text Examples