VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 55 POSTED ON: 5/29/2012
EVIDENCE Available facts, circumstances, etc. indicating whether or not a thing is true or valid. (The Oxford Dictionary of Current English.) From Sherlock Holmes In one story Sherlock Holmes comes back home and learns that he had a visitor, but the visitor left in a hurry However, the visitor left a hat in Holmes’ house Holmes looks at the hat and begins his reasoning Sherlock Holmes’ reasoning “That the man was highly intellectual is of course obvious upon the face of it…” Holmes clapped the hat upon his head. It came right over the forehead and settled upon the bridge of his nose. “It is a question of cubic capacity,” said he; “a man with so large a brain must have something in it.” Deductive reasoning All people with large hats have large head. This man has a large hat Therefore This man has a large head Deductive reasoning All people with large heads have large brain. This man has a large head Therefore This man has a large brain Deductive reasoning All people with large brains are intelligent. This man has a large brain Therefore This man is intelligent The need for evidence Premises must be either assumed or proven Only obvious truths can be assumed If they are not obvious, they must be proven/supported with evidence How do we know that: This man has a large hat All people with large hats have large head. All people with large heads have large brain. All people with large brains are intelligent. This man has a large hat Evidence? The hat itself. We have the hat. We can see it. We can measure it. How do we know it is large? In comparison to what? All people with large hats have large head. Evidence? It sounds logical, but: Are there any exceptions? Can we be sure? All people with large heads have large brain. Evidence? It sounds reasonable, but “sounds reasonable” is not good enough We need biological, medical studies. At least a newspaper article reporting on such studies All people with large brains are intelligent. Evidence? This is the most difficult. We definitely need biological, medical studies. They must be solid studies From reputable and reliable sources FACTS and OPINIONS. In a logical argument facts are always preferable to opinions. FACT is “a thing that is known to exist or to be true” OPINIONS OPINION is an unproven belief, something that either cannot be proven or is not proven at this time. Opinions are someone’s perceptions of the facts. Epistemological issues How do we know? The Question of CORRESPONDENCE TO THE REALITY Correspondence theory of truth What we believe or say is true if it corresponds to the way things actually are—to the facts. A belief is true if there exists an appropriate entity—a fact—to which it corresponds. If there is no such entity, the belief is false Artifacts When we use an artifact, we let others to observe the actual thing. (Actual objects, photos, videotapes) Is the artifact genuine? Is the artifact typical of the class of items it is supposed to represent? EXAMPLES EXAMPLES (individual instances): A report or description of an observation, experience, event, etc. Examples of what? Factual examples? Hypothetical? Recent? Statistics The field of STATISTICS is concerned with the COLLECTION, ORGANIZATION, and INTERPRETATION of data according to well-defined procedures. Descriptive Descriptive statistics = data reduction. Collection and organizing data. Making some sense in all these numbers. Inferential Inferential statistics = drawing conclusions. (especially about causal relationship) Statistics… Were the statistics collected by a reliable source? Were the statistics collected from a sufficiently large sample/or a sufficiently long period of time? Are comparable units used in statistical comparisons? Scientific theory: common miunderstandings In a common usage the word “theory” means an opinion, speculation, unproven belief. In science that guess or speculation has another word: hypothesis. Hypothesis The initial guess that is tested by scientists The first step to develop a theory. If the hypothesis cannot be proven, it is rejected (it remains an unproven guess). However, if, after rigorous scientific testing, the hypothesis is proven to be true, that hypothesis becomes a theory. Theory When scientists use the word theory, they mean that a particular explanation of natural phenomena is well-substantiated by scientific tests. When an observation has been repeatedly confirmed, for all practical purposes the theory is accepted as ‘true,’ it is a fact. The key characteristics of science and scientific theory Science is not a set of doctrinal and dogmatic beliefs. Nothing in science is accepted as true until it can be proven true through rigorous tests. Further, many theories continue to be tested and retested. Although it is rare that a theory is disproved by new evidence that was not available in the original testing, many theories are being extended and modified. CONSISTENCY Internal consistency: evidence is consistent with other statements in the same argument (you are not contradicting yourself). External consistency: evidence is consistent with the majority of other available evidence. RELIABILITY Is the source known to be honest and reliable? BIAS Does the source have anything to gain by reporting the information? EXPERTISE Does the source have credentials as an expert? Primary versus secondary sources This distinction illustrates the degree to which the author of a piece is removed from the actual event being described Primary versus secondary sources Primary sources: These are contemporary accounts of an event, written by someone who experienced or witnessed the event in question. These are original documents Secondary sources: Usually retell or interpret primary sources, and so can be described as at least one step removed from the event or phenomenon under review. Judging the authority of the text Specialized knowledge of writer Qualifications and/or reputation of writer Specialized knowledge of other people who contribute information (e.g. interviewees) Access writer has had to relevant sources Citation procedures used (evidence seems authentic: e.g. names, dates given). Special care in evaluating Internet sources Problem 1: a large number of material on the Internet is self-published (not reviewed) Problem 2: many unreliable sources and articles resemble high quality sources Problem 3: tendency to believe that “everything is on the Internet” Problem 4: relying on Google etc. Evaluating websites: Author’s authority - Is the author or sponsor readily identifiable? - What information is there about the author or his or her credentials? - Is the material presented from a particular point of view? How would you know? - What links are there to other sites; what does this tell you about the site you are evaluating? - What is the purpose? Evaluating websites: Publishers Authority - To whom is the site directed? - Whose site is it? - How is the site financed? - Why has the site been established? - What is its history? - When was the site last updated? - Is there a link to its home page? Your Library GUIDES http://www.csupomona.edu/~library/tutorials/tutorials_general.html Bibliographic Citations Boolean Operators Controversial Topics / Opposing Viewpoints Finding Biographical Information Help Finding Biographies Key to Library Jargon New Users Guide Peer Reviewed Versus Other Types of Periodicals Masters Theses and Project Guidelines Website Evaluation Criteria Your Library Online EZ Research Workshop http://connect.csupomona.edu/ez By the end of the tutorial students will know how to: Use 5 database search strategies for effective searching Conduct searches using the Boolean operators AND, OR, & NOT Read a bibliographic citation correctly Select the right information resources for their topic Brainstorm keywords and synonyms for effective search strategy Determine the availability of the full text of cited items and use document delivery services as needed GENERAL SOURCES Handbooks Encyclopedias Annual Reviews / Series Bibliographies Handbooks A scholarly subject book: provides a comprehensive summary of most recent, relevant, and important research and research trends. Also manuals and books of facts Encyclopedias General encyclopedias: Britannica, Americana, Wikipedia, etc. Specialized: Encyclopedia Of 20th Century Photography 2006 International encyclopedia of communication 1989 Bibliographies A comprehensive list of sources on a particular topic Legal Research Resources Oyez: US Supreme Court Case Summaries, Oral Arguments & Multimedia www.oyez.org American Bar Association's Lawlink: The Legal Research Jumpstation www.abanet.org/tech/ltrc/lawlink/home.html Periodicals Scholarly (peer reviewed) Popular: newspapers, newsmagazines, trade journals, etc. Scholarly Journals (Peer Reviewed) • PURPOSE: • Report original research; review and evaluate previously published materials; or expand and refine theory. • Often published by a professional association, society, research institution, or academic institution. Examples of scholarly journals Harvard Business Review Journal of Management Studies Journal of Animal Science Quarterly Journal of Speech Human Communication Research American Political Science Assoc. Review Journal of Geophysical Research Non-scholarly publications • Diverse topics covered - popular topics or current events. • News on a daily or weekly basis. • Appeals to the layperson or tradesperson • Contains advertising • Published by commercial publisher. • Sources not cited • Contributions by local staff, newswire services and syndicated columnists. NEWSPAPERS • USA Today • Los Angeles Times • New York Times • Wall Street Journal • Chicago Tribune • Washington Post NEWS MAGAZINES Good basic information on topics of current interest, especially in national politics and international affairs. However, the articles seldom have depth and may be opinionated. Some examples are: The Economist, Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News & World Report OPINION MAGAZINES Aim at an educated audience interested in understanding the significance of contemporary events and ideas -- social, political, and scientific. Typically, they offer information from a particular point of view. Fairly objective: Atlantic Monthly, The New York Review of Books, Very partisan: American Spectator, American Prospect, Nation, National Review, New Republic POPULAR MAGAZINES The information they offer may or may not be valid (it should be verified). Their purpose is chiefly to entertain. They very seldom should be quoted in a serious paper. Examples: Car and Driver, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Omni, Readers Digest, and Sports Illustrated. Recording Evidence… Know what evidence is needed Keep an annotated bibliography Have an organized system of note taking Using note cards helps Putting headings on your cards helps even more References PURPOSE: to enable readers to retrieve and use the sources. Distinguish references and bibliography Agreement of in-text and end-of-text references Reference List: General Forms Flores, T. (1992). Communications statistics: Country-by-country analysis. Flores and Associates. Retrieved 05/24, 1992 from www.flores.org/com- stats.html Martinez, C. R. (1996). Pesticide controversies. Pesticide Journal, 12, 17-24. Smith W. (2001, January 17). Obesity matters. The New York Times, A1, A4. Walker, T. L. (2005). Marketing television shows. New York: Copley.
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