The Critical Thinking About Sources Cookbook

Available Formats
ALA Member
Item Number
10 12"
8 12"
AP Categories

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both members and non-members.

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author

Students deal with complex online environments every day, and many are being asked to grapple with—and produce—new types of information and to utilize and navigate unfamiliar information environments. Critical thinking skills can empower students to become savvy consumers, producers, and distributors of information and can equip them to navigate and participate in complex twenty-first-century information ecosystems.

The Critical Thinking about Sources Cookbook provides lesson plans, resources, ideas, and inspiration to empower librarians in helping students develop the crucial critical thinking and information and media literacy skills they need. 96 recipes divided into two parts—Consuming Information and Producing and Distributing Information—explore evaluating information, recognizing scholarly sources, how technology mediates our experiences with information, the economics of information ecosystems, and more, including provocative considerations of issues like copyright and open access and deep dives into pop culture and social media.

Critically examining many of the challenges inherent in our media ecosystems, The Critical Thinking about Sources Cookbook takes a broad look at the types of sources our students are expected to use and produce, and provides librarians and educators with a series of adaptable and innovative approaches to teaching critical-thinking skills.



Section I. Consuming Information

  • Part A: Evaluating Information

Identifying the Components of a Research Article
Jane Hammons and Andrea Brooks

Content, Form, and Function: Evaluating the Measured Filling of a Scholarly Article
Jessica Mahoney

Deconstructed Journal Articles: An Active Learning Recipe for Reflection
Lisa Campbell

Like Oil and Vinegar:  Exploring Different but Complementary Scholarly and Popular Resources
Malina Thiede

Evaluating Sources on the Scholarly Spectrum
Janet Pinkley and Linda Carroll

Popular Magazines versus Scholarly/Academic Journals
Dusty Folds

Popular and Scholarly Source Stew
Samantha Martin and Beth Miller

Yams and Sweet Potatoes, Jams and Jellies: Differentiating Between Popular and Scholarly Sources
Helene Gold

Who Did It Better? The True Test of Popular vs. Scholarly Sources
Amy Dye-Reeves

Show Me the Ingredients: Tracking Down the Original Ingredient
Joy Oehlers

Assorted Rolls in the Breadbasket: Selecting Articles from a Single Scientific Journal Issue to Please Different Palates
Nancy R. Curtis

Research Telephone: Calling All Chocolate Lovers
Melissa Harden and Anna Michelle Martinez-Montavon

  • Part B: Working with Popular Sources

Add Data, Mix Well: Finding and Assessing Data Sets
Debbie Bezanson, Megan Potterbusch, and Tina Plottel

Tapas for Success: An Information Source Sampler for Critical Thinking
Leslie Poljak, Marnie Hampton, and Diana Dill

Rate That Source: An Information Evaluation Game
Virginia L. Cairns

Identifying and Diluting the Dominant Flavor of a Source
Lindsay Bush and Courtney Seymour

A Human Library with a Side of Critical Thinking: Considering Oral Narratives and Scholarly Articles
Nancy Goebel, Yvonne Becker, and Kara Blizzard

Cooking from Your Pantry: Using Inquiry to Evaluate and Understand Primary Sources
Pamela Nett Kruger and Adrienne Scott

Boiling Water: Examining Chernobyl as a Method of Teaching History Students about Primary and Secondary Sources
Jennifer Beach

Historic Misinformation Reflection and Remix
Sarah E. Morris

Primary/Secondary Mixed Grill
Abbey Lewis and Emily Dommermuth

Developing Critical Thinking and Archival Literacy through a Three Perspectives Project
Erin Lawrimore

Taste Test: Primary vs. Secondary Sources
Candace K. Vance

It Looks Yummy, but Is It Good for You? Evaluating Images
Olga Hart

Y Tho: Cooking with Catchphrases is Meme-orable
Melissa Langridge and Samuel Kim

Teaching Evaluative Criteria to Increase Critical Thinking: Infographics 101
Dana Statton Thompson

Where the Recipe Goes Wrong: Stirring Bias into the Information Mix
Susan K. Boyd

  • Part C: Recognizing Scholarly Sources

Brittany Hickey

Quit Serving CRAAP, Start making DRAMA
Hanna Primeau

Rotten Resource Burger
Abbey Lewis

It’s a TRAP!
Laura Dumuhosky and Jennifer Kegler

The Best Cheeseburger Ever
Anne Marie Gruber

Scholarly Journal Evaluation Activity
Mellanie Reeve

Reliable Article or Bogus Science: Evaluating Claims Found in Popular Sources
Joshua Becker

Investigate Your Ingredients: Interrogating Sources and Sharing Findings
Martinique Hallerduff and Jennifer Lau-Bond

“Wait, Twitter Isn’t Bad!?”: The Power of a Personal Evaluation Plan
Alexander Deeke

Something Smells Fishy: Evaluating Journals for Credibility
Carolyn Caffrey Gardner and Dana Ospina

Consuming Information Like a Scientist: Evaluating and Comparing Scientific Resources
Rita Premo

Ranking Relevant Articles with First-Year Nursing Students
Brandy Whitlock

Inviting Students into the Kitchen: Inquiry-Based Learning as a Critical Thinking Instructional Strategy
Mandi Goodsett

The Credibility Continuum
Eric Shannon and Leslie Inglis

What’s in the Sauce? Using Rhetorical Analysis to Differentiate Source Types
Joel Burkholder

IF I APPLY: A New Recipe for Critical Source Evaluation for the (Dis)Information Age
Kathleen Phillips, Eryn Roles, and Sabrina Thomas

Evaluating Mystery Ingredients: Chopping the CRAAP Test
Sarah Kantor

Meant to Appeal to Different Tastes, or How’s Your Internet B*** S*** Detector?
Gail Gradowski

Alien Babies and Angelina Jolie: Evaluating Sources Using Tabloids with a Taste of News Literacy
Ashley Cole and Heather Beirne

Scroll-Worthy Sources: Information Literacy Instruction Through Harry Potter’s Glasses Frames
Sherry Larson-Rhodes

A Dash of Investigation: A Critical Thinking Recipe
Jodi Brown and Kristen A. Cooke

Fact-Check Lightning Round
Sarah E. Morris

  • Part D: Dealing with Misinformation

Reverse Engineering the News
Marla Lobley and Calantha Tillotson

Trust this Recipe: Trust Indicators and Critical Media Analysis
Nicole Branch, Leanna Goodwater, and Shannon Kealey

The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating: Practicing Mike Caulfield’s “Four Moves and a Habit” Approach for Evaluating Online Content
Elizabeth St. Clair and Jennifer Bodley

Sweet and Savory: Separating Fact from Fiction
Jennifer Pate and Derek Malone

Tin Foil Hats: Using Science Communication Skills to Tackle Science Conspiracies
Sarah E. Morris

A Heaping Scoop of Literacy, with a Side of Gamification
Kara Conley, Kayla Del Biondo, Kim Hoffman, Nicole Potter, and Jillian Scarson

The Whole Facts Diet: No Artificial Additives
Sally Stieglitz

How Do They Know That? An Evaluation Exercise for News
Emilia Marcyk

Cooking up Critical Thinking in the Flipped Kitchen
Kristen A. Cooke

How Sweet It Is: Recognizing Misinformation and Disinformation
Heather Brodie Perry

Discovering the “I” in Bias
Laura Luiz

Food for Thought: Slow Information Principles and Practices
Colette Hayes

Popping the Filter Bubble on Internet News and Recognizing Bias
Lauren McMillan and Vivian Bynoe

Cooking with GMOs: Confirmation Bias and Misinformation in Scientific Controversies
Dianna E. Sachs

Got Misinformation? Critically Evaluating Sources for Credibility, Accuracy, and Usefulness
Neyda V. Gilman and Julia Glauberman

Fighting Infobesity: Creating A Healthy News Diet
Aisha Conner-Gaten, Jennifer Masunaga, and Elisa Slater Acosta

Mindfulness and Information Consumption
Sarah E. Morris

Section II. Producing and Distributing Information

  • Part A: Examining Production Techniques and Norms

Why Can’t Intellectual Freedom and Copyright Get Along?
Alyssa Wright and Kelly Diamond

Open Source and Royalty-Free: Beyond the Frontier in Scholarly Research
Sue Wozniak, Katherine Kelley, and Greg Bem

Communicating Research Three Ways: Critically Reflecting on Access and Privilege
Silvia Vong

7-Layer Citation Salad—The Joy of Identifying Distinct Ingredients and Assembling a Glorious Delight: Students as Information and Citation Creators
Barbara E. Weeg and Leila June Rod-Welch

A Pinch of Peer Review
Megan L. Anderson and  Linda L. Crosby

Mind Shapers: Participating in The Peer-Review Process
Amy Dye-Reeves

Replicating Research on a Small Scale Using a Scholarly Journal Article as the Main Ingredient
Barbara Eshbach

Evaluating and Selecting Library Resources as Ingredients in Individual Professional Development: Student-Driven Acquisitions
Michelle Costello and Dennis Showers

Creating and Using Infographics: Introduction to Best Practices
Olga Hart

  • Part B: Exploring Information Ecosystems and Distribution Methods

Cookies or Cake? It Depends on the Process!
Madeline Donnelly

Excavating the Conversation on a Research Topic
Martinique Hallerduff

Mixing Up an “Authority Matters” Batter
Jen Hasse

Plan Your Shopping: Using the 5 Ws to Map the Business Information Economy
Heather Grevatt

Audience a la Carte: Understanding Information Production through Storytelling
Sam Becker

Restaurant Confidential: Authority and Information Creation in a Crowd-Sourced World
Jenny Mills

Sous Vide or Deep-fry? Teaching Students to Cook Research for Different Tastes
Silvia Vong

Using Popular Media to Craft Research Questions
William Cuthbertson, Dawn Frank, and Irene Korber

Crafting Credible Cocktails: Blending Context, Genre, and a Hint of Pop Culture for the Perfect Libation
Sarah Naomi Campbell, Jenny Castel, and Kelly Faulkner

Stop the Presses!
Sarah E. Morris

  • Part C: Navigating Information Online

Writing Buffet
Joseph Matson and Anne Shelley

Poached Barrier Reef: Evaluating Articles on the Web
Judy Opdahl and Denise Kane

Using Wikipedia to Critically Evaluate Information
Kathleen Heidecker and Andrea Metz

Asking Questions Quesadillas
Joyce Garczynski

Mixing Up a Balanced Research Plan: One Part Google to Two Parts Deep Web
Robin D. Lang

Hot Twitter Tips: Recipe for Social Media Success
Haley L. Lott

Repost This, Not That! Evaluating News Beyond the Headline
Bridget Doloresco, Melissa Langridge, and Lirim Hajrullahu

How Social Media Shapes “News”: Thinking Critically about Sources
Michalle Gould

Make Your Own Mix: Using Social Media Stories to Explore Primary Sources
Marcela Isuster

Scholarly Journal Evaluation Activity: A Health Sciences Spin-Off
Carol Hutte

Media Manipulation
Sarah E. Morris

Sarah E. Morris

Sarah E. Morris is head of instruction in Emory University Libraries. She also serves as a subject librarian for English. Before her arrival at Emory, Sarah spent two years as the learning and assessment librarian at the University of Texas in Austin. She also spent three years as the first-year experience librarian at Loyola University-Chicago, and four years in museum education for various children’s and art museums. Born in Jacksonville, NC, Sarah grew up in Abilene, TX. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history at Southwestern University, a master’s degree of humanities, with a concentration in English literature, from the University of Chicago, and a master’s of science in information science from UT-Austin. Sarah is also the co-founder of an educational nonprofit called the Nucleus Learning Network.