Writing Assignment 7 Prompt

Description: First, this assignment is designed to exercise students’ ability to discern expertise. Using the four criteria of expertise, students will assess given cases where a person’s expertise must be determined so that students are able to meaningfully tell experts from non-experts. Students will also use the criteria of expertise to develop a profile of expertise for a given discipline so that students are experienced in understanding what an ideal expert is for a given field. Second, This assignment is designed to furnish students with the tools required to do research meaningfully and successfully, regardless of topic or proficiency. Using the CRAAP model of criteria for evaluating research sources (Blackboard), students will examine one source of information relating to their final project issue to determine the quality of that information in a research setting. Students will consider what kind of information is best for their topic, find an initially appropriate source, then apply the criteria to understand the quality of information better. In this way, students will gain the ability to justify why using certain information as research is advisable, the strengths and weaknesses of particular information.


1. For the following three cases, use the criteria of expertise to determine whether the given person is an expert or not in the given field in which the claim is being made. Each assessment should use all four criteria in a detailed way, and be at least one paragraph long. These are real people and situations, and looking online for information is advised.

a. Dr. Mehmet Oz has firmly claimed that faith-healing is a powerful means to cure a variety of diseases. Given his world-wide recognition, his appearance on television as an expert, his books and products, his standing as a medical doctor (MD from University of Pennsylvania) and professor of surgery and cardiology at Columbia, we should accept his claim that faith-healing is a legitimate medical practice.

b. Cited by Donald Trump for evidence of the dangers of unchecked immigration, Fox News expert, Nils Bildt, a Swedish defense and national security advisor, claimed that crime rates in Sweden have gone up proportionally with relaxed immigration policy. Bildt’s standing as a security expert is verified by broadcast experts at the news organization, who only allowed him on after having verified his credentials.

c. Newly awarded Nobel Prize Economist Richard Thaler recently claimed on PBS that we should be wary of investing in the stock market since it’s not totally clear what is making the market go up, and, hence, unclear what it will do next. His assertion is that it would be wiser to save money rather than risk it, especially for those who have little expendable income to invest or save. Thaler made these claims as an expert in economics, holding a professorship at the University of Chicago, a PhD in economics from Rochester, and a variety of important, leading publications in his field.

2. For the following two fields of knowledge, professions, or disciplines, choose, one, then use the criteria of expertise to hypothetically develop of profile of what characteristics an expert in the chosen field should have in order to be a legitimate expert in that field. I am providing a broad field, and then possibilities of specific positions in that field for your to choose one from. The profile should use all four criteria in a detailed way, and be at least one paragraph long.

a. Journalism/Journalist: a column writer on education policy, a news anchor, a war correspondent.

b. Sciences/Scientist: a professor of astronomy, a researcher on vaccines, a climatologist.

3. Consider your final project issue (pick one of the two issues for this) and what kind of information is produced regarding that issue. Things like books, news articles, media reports, expert analysis, scholarly journal entries, scientific studies, government studies, textbooks, legal cases and rulings, laws, etc., should all be taken into consideration. Locate (library, internet, media, etc.) one item of information which you initially believe to be relevant to your issue. Whether or not the item supports your stance is irrelevant. What matters is that your assessment is accurate and fruitful, not whether the source, after assessment, is perfect or imperfect. Using the CRAAP model of criteria, assess your chosen source of information. In one paragraph, describe the results. Would you say that the source is good or bad, according to which criteria?

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