In the response, provide comments on your classmate’s topic idea and ask a question that prompts your classmate to think more critically about how to explore the research topic in more detail. Each participation post should be a minimum of 75 words.

I first had an interest in the environmental topics (ocean desertification and species extinction), but I was having trouble finding reliable and relevant sources. Therefore, I begin looking into two other topics: adult illiteracy and overcoming the digital divide. After comparing how many sources I could find within the Ashford Library and regular search engines (like Google), I began to see that the digital divide would provide more substance for my research. Between the two topics, it was easier to find different views on the digital divide, which would allow me to construct a better argument.

Three ways that I critically analyze my sources is to check the authority, evaluate the quality, and then look into the currency of that source. It is important to analyze the source’s author(s) to see if they have the qualifications to produce writings on the topic you have chosen. I always like to see if there are pictures or other writings by that author and if there is a way to contact them (which adds credibility and a touch of real-ness to that author). Checking the quality is important because your information needs to be factual and accurate. One also needs to check for bias when looking at the quality of the source. Lastly, when the source was created should be considered. Is the information still relevant? I always find myself looking for the date before even clicking on a source or proceeding to look at the meat of the source.

When looking at research on how to overcome the digital divide, I would like to focus on how bridging this gap can promote literacy and aid in the educational world. I have found two sources from the Ashford Library that will support my research:

“The digital divide: how income inequality is affecting literacy instruction, and what all educators can do to help close the gap” by Beth Braverman.

This article covers the importance of educators playing a role in closing the digital divide and how their efforts can make a change. The focus is on how inequality effects literacy instruction and how closing the gap can “create and equitable education system” (Braverman, 2016).

“Free Reading Zones: Transforming Access to Books through Technology.” by Mirela Roncevic.

This article discusses the importance of Free Reading Zones, which would provide people with access to e-books through sponsorships. The report within this article demonstrates how libraries can gain from this type of technological advance and how closing this digital divide can provide people with free access to titles and literary opportunities (Roncevic, 2017).

Scholarly sources should be used to support writing, especially on my selected topic, because you should want to avoid a lot of bias and uneducated opinions. Scholarly sources provide accurate and credible insight to important matters, which leave you feeling confident that the material you are referring to is correct and not just something someone made up. It may be easier to use a site like Wikipedia to find the information you want, but it pays off to utilize sources that you may not have to question later. My topic may require statistics and updated information and scholarly sources provide that for me.


Braverman, B. (2016, January-February). The digital divide: how income inequality is affecting literacy instruction, and what all educators can do to help close the gap. Literacy Today, 33(4), 16.

Roncevic, M. (2017, October). Free Reading Zones: Transforming Access to Books through Technology. Library Technology Reports, 53(7), 5-33.


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