CS113: Academic Strategies for the Business Professional Unit 6 Critical Thinking and Research Assignment

CS113: Academic Strategies for the Business Professional

Unit 6 Critical Thinking and Research Assignment

Full Name:                 

Two-digit Section #:      

Instructions: Download this document to your computer before filling it out. Save using “Save As” and add your name to the front removing the phrase “YourName.” All of the gray boxes below should be appropriately filled in and the document saved again before submitting to the Unit 6 Dropbox.

Please read through the following comments carefully to see why we are focusing on critical thinking and online research. Make sure to pay special attention to the two comments highlighted in red:

“The World Wide Web can be a great place to accomplish research on many topics. But putting documents or pages on the web is easy, cheap, or free, unregulated, and unmonitored (at least in the USA). There is a famous Steiner cartoon published in the New Yorker (July 5, 1993) with two dogs sitting before a terminal looking at a computer screen; one says to the other ‘On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.’ The great wealth that the Internet has brought to so much of society is the ability for people to express themselves, find one another, exchange ideas, discover possible peers worldwide they never would have otherwise met, and, through hypertext links in web pages, suggest so many other people’s ideas and personalities to anyone who comes and clicks. There are some real “dogs” out there, but there’s also great treasure. Therein lies the rationale for evaluating carefully whatever you find on the Web.

The burden is on you — the reader — to establish the validity, authorship, timeliness, and integrity of what you find. Documents can easily be copied and falsified or copied with omissions and errors — intentional or accidental. In the general World Wide Web there are no editors (unlike most print publications) to proofread and “send it back” or “reject it” until it meets the standards of a publishing house’s reputation. Most pages found in general search engines for the web are self-published or published by businesses small and large with motives to get you to buy something or believe a point of view. Even within university and library web sites, there can be many pages that the institution does not try to oversee. The web needs to be free like that!! And you, if you want to use it for serious research, need to cultivate the habit of healthy skepticism, of questioning everything you find with critical thinking.”



UC Berkeley. (2012). Evaluating web pages: Techniques to apply & questions to ask. UC Berkeley


        Teaching Library Workshops. Retrieved from http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html


Notice the citation above is created in APA Style. Notice the formatting. Notice the double spacing. Notice the second line is indented. Just take notice.

For the Unit 6 Assignment, you will be locating and reviewing online sources to determine whether or not they provide reliable, accurate information, the kind of information you might use if you were writing a research paper. You will not actually be writing a research paper in this course; however, this Assignment is designed to give you some practice locating and critically reviewing online sources — two skills that will be very important in future university courses. After completing the Unit 6 Reading, conduct some online research of your own in order to locate one online source that would be suitable to use as a reference for a research paper, a source you consider reliable and accurate after applying the 5 Ws of Web Site Evaluation (http://www.schrockguide.net/uploads/3/9/2/2/392267/5ws.pdf). You may search the internet using techniques you have learned in Unit 4. Remember: Blogs, Wikis, and message boards are not acceptable for research since they are opinion and/or editable by anyone.


Note: Database sites such as Google™, Bing™, and Yahoo™ hold many possible sources that can be chosen and may be used as search engines, but these types of sites are not to be evaluated for this Assignment. Please refer to the Doc Sharing area of the course for important information regarding search engines, web search techniques, and website evaluation strategies.


It is recommended but not required that you search for topics within the business field or a field related to your specific career interests.


Where do I begin searching? You may use any search engine you are familiar with to begin your search. Google is probably one of the most popular search engines around, but there are others you might want to use as well:


Google – https://www.google.com/

Google Scholar™ – http://scholar.google.com/

Bing – http://www.bing.com/

Yahoo Search – http://www.search.yahoo.com/

Ask™ – http://www.ask.com/

AOL Search™ – http://search.aol.com/aol/webhome

MyWebSearch™ – http://home.mywebsearch.com/

Lycos™ – http://www.lycos.com/

Dogpile™ – http://www.dogpile.com/

TIP: You will also find excellent online sources by using the Library located accessed in the Academic Tools area of the course.

TIP:  To remove the shaded boxes, place your cursor in the shaded box and hit the enter button.

Unit 6 Critical Thinking and Research Assignment

Online Source Identification, Application, and Reflection

  1. Identify:

Include a reference listing for your source utilizing standard APA* formatting:

Refer to the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association http://www.apastyle.org/

*If there is no date listed, indicate n.d. in the date area.




Author’s last name, first initial. (Year, Month Date Published). Title of article. Title of Journal. Retrieved from {insert URL}

Jones, K. (2015, June 16). Modern business design. Contemporary Business Models.  Retrieved from http://www.contemporarybusinessmodels.com

Notice the citation above is created in APA* formatting. Notice the formatting. Notice the double spacing. Notice the second line is indented.

Before you create your reference as part of your assignment, you will have to identify the needed components from the source you have chosen. These would include author(s), dates, titles, and journal titles (if applicable). Be sure to use the two examples above as models. Visit the site given as an additional source of help.

Insert your reference listing in the shaded box below:

  1. Apply the 5Ws:

Carefully consider the five criteria listed below in blue. In each grey box, include responses to the related questions (minimum 2 complete sentences for each item).


  • Example: 1 of the 5 W’s—Authority (who): The author of this online article is John Q. Smith, a professor at Cornell University. He has a good background in business management and provided contact information.

(1) Authority (who): Who is the author or sponsor and what are his/her credentials? Did the author/sponsor provide contact information?


(2) Accuracy (where): Where did the information come from? Are there citations and links to other web sites?


(3) Objectivity (what): What is the purpose of the site (inform, entertain, persuade, advertise, etc.)? Is the discussion fact-based or opinion-based?


(4) Currency (when): When was the site originally created? Has it been recently updated? Are the links working?


(5) Coverage (why): Why is this site worthwhile? Is the site easy to navigate and does the information seem logical?


III. Reflection:

Please provide a detailed response for each reflection item listed below:



Item I:  Referring specifically to the five criteria listed above in blue, explain why you feel the online source you selected would be suitable to use as a reference for a college-level research paper. Make sure to describe the kind of thinking and questioning you applied as you reviewed the source.  Your response should be a minimum of 10 complete sentences.

Item II: The World Wide Web can be an outstanding resource for college students; however, it must be used with care and caution. Critical thinkers always take time to think before they make use of online sources. Explain why it will be worthwhile for you to take the time to find and utilize reliable, accurate online sources in the future.

Your response should be a minimum of 10 complete sentences.

Review the grading rubric before submitting this Activity.

 *** Students: Do not delete the grading rubric below. It must remain in this document. ***

Unit 6 Assignment Grading Rubric

Quantitative Analysis: (point breakdown) Points possible Points earned
Identify: APA Reference listing. 5.0  
Apply: Address each of the 5 W’s. 15.0  
Reflection I – Suitability: (minimum 10 sentences). 10.0  
Reflection II – Future Value: (minimum 10 sentences). 10.0  
Style (spelling, grammar, and sentence structure) – 20% as outlined in the Assignment grading rubric located in the Syllabus.  
Total points 40.0  


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