Paper 1: 100 points

Credibility, Peer Review, and the Nature of Claims


We have discussed the difference between the concept of a credible statement and a true statement. We have understood how academic peer review works, and we have understood that peer review is a tool for determining whether or not a new claim is sufficiently connected to established knowledge so that it can be judged credible and endorsed by a discipline through publication in a scholarly journal or by a scholarly press.  

Not only do have a basic understanding of how discourse communities regulate knowledge, we have also explored how knowledge becomes credible through other mechanisms such as open peer review.  In an age of blogs, published conference proceedings, and other digital venues, the problem of identifying credible sources grows exceedingly complex. We now that "research" requires a familiarity with social media, specialized search engines, and databases.

To summarize: we have explored the nature of credibility, the tools for assessing credibility, and the problem of identifying sources of credible information. Our key terms include: credibility, true, prove, discourse, discourse community, boundary system, logos, ethos, pathos.

Skills:  we have learned to use a a writing process whose central metaphor is the map: mapping, identifying gaps in the map, re-drawing the map.  (See "Key Concepts" link at the top of this page.) We have also learned how to use TEQ Sheets, Purpose & Problem Statements, and Prospectuses. (See appropriate links under "Tools" link at the top of this page).



• To understand some of these problems, we have viewed Professor Gilliard's presentation on research techniques (HERE).

• Scholarly Review Sources: Drummond Rennie's "Editorial Peer Review: its development and rationale." Complete a TEQ Sheet for the reading.

• Popular Press Sources: Patricia Cohen's "Scholars Test Web Alternative to Peer Review."  Complete a TEQ Sheet for the reading.

• Rebecca Rosen's  "Wikipedia and the Shifting Definition of Expert."  

• Patrick Stokes's "No, you're not entitled to your opinion,"



Begin by identifying three additional resources that help clarify the connections between credibility and academic peer review.  Create a TEQ Sheet for each of these sources. You may not use any item listed above. On a separate line in your citation, name the search engine, database, or other tool you used to locate the source.

Then, using these resources and your other readings about peer review, you will prepare to answer the questions below.   Note that the questions are listed in an order that will help you produce the Prospectus.  

    1.What problem does peer review attempt to solve?

    2.What is the relation between the writer of a peer-reviewed article, the article's audience, and the reviewers?

    3.What strikes you as odd/surprising/unworkable/ about the peer review process?

Note that the final bullet above asks you to identify something problematic about peer review. You will describe this perplexing problem without attempting to take "sides" or to "solve" it.



You will complete the following:

1.  TEQ Sheets for Rennie, Cohen, Stokes, and Rosen (see above)

2. TEQ Sheets for the additional sources you identify

3. Purpose & Problem Statement

4. Prospectus containing at least five citations. The in-text citations and works cited will follow MLA guidelines. The Prospectus will be no longer than two pages including the works cited. For an example, see HERE.


Other Requirements

NOTE 1: The documents should avoid any form of the verb, "to be."  Examples of this verb include "am," "is," "are," "was," "were," "being," "been." These verbs are vague, and  they often seem to claim that one thing is another thing.  Papers using any form of "to be" often receive reduced grades..

NOTE 2: The paper may not use second person ("you" or "your")  Any paper using second person will not be accepted.  The paper may not use "one" as a substitute for second person.

NOTE 3: First person ("I") is acceptable only at the sentences that state your own, most important insight, question, or hypothesis.


Project 1 includes TEQ Sheets, a Purpose & Problem Statement, and a Prospectus.  These documents will be mailed to as attachments to a single email.  Please note the following requirements.

Subject Line for Submitting Your First Project


                        Example: kelly-project1-8  

                              “kelly” is your last name

                              “project1” is the assignment

                              ”8” is the time the class starts.

How to Name Your Files:

     TEQ Sheets:

          Example:  kelly-TEQ-Gilliard.docx

Purpose and Problem Statement

          Example: kelly-PPS1.pages


          Example: kelly-Prospectus1.odt