In order to deepen your understanding of how to think critically about multiple sources in science, explore the following slideshow. You will learn how to read various texts to identify the central idea and key details related to the content you are learning. You will also have opportunities to view a video related to the content in the texts and think about the similarities and differences amongst the multiple resources on the same topic. By staying focused on the central idea and key details in each of these sources, you will make sure that you target the most important content. You will evaluate the information that is consistent or conflicting between these sources as you build your knowledge of the content you are learning.
Comparing Multiple Sources
Begin by reading the initial text and identifying the central idea. The central idea is the most important idea that the author wants you to gain. Read the entire text one time through in order to identify the central idea. If the content is challenging, you may need to read more than once to clarify your understanding.
- What is the author’s overall purpose?
- What is the most important idea?
Notice the title of the text. Frequently, the title helps you to identify or clarify the central idea in the text. This will help you later when thinking about the similarities and differences between this text and a video on the same topic.
- How does the title help me to better understand the central idea?
- How does the title represent the author’s overall purpose?
Now that you have found the central idea, look for the key ideas that help you better understand the central idea of the text.
- What are the key details that support the central idea?
- How do the key details help to illustrate the author’s overall purpose?
Keeping in mind what you learned from the text, prepare to watch the video. Before viewing, ask yourself: How does the title of the video give you clues about the central idea?
While viewing the video, compare and contrast the information gained in the text with what you are viewing in the video. Ask yourself:
- What is the same in both the text and video? What is different?
- What ideas in the video support the ideas in the text?
- What ideas in the video contradict the ideas in the text?
To deepen your understanding of the information in the initial text and the video, read an additional piece of text and think about what is similar and different amongst multiple sources on the same topic. Ask yourself:
- What is the central idea in the additional text?
- How do the ideas in the additional text support what you have previously learned in the initial text and in the video?
- How do the ideas in the additional text contradict what you have previously learned in the initial piece of text and in the video?