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When marking student papers have you ever wondered why some digital sources are more frequently cited than others?  Do your students know what constitutes an authoritative source or how to tell the difference between good and bad sources?
The Pew Research Center recently mined the data within the TurnItIn databases and determined that students are very likely (50%) to be drawing from sources that range from Social Networking, through Shopping, all the way to Cheating sites.
To help students (and teachers) develop the necessary research skills, TurnItIn has produced a rubric on how to evaluate online sources based on criteria such as “Authoritativeness, Educational Value, Intent, Originality and Quality” to generate a numerical score.  This score can then be used by the students themselves to evaluate the quality of their own research sources – or by the teacher to help guide their students toward more appropriate sites.

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