Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Authority, Information Justice, and Source-Based Writing: Cultivating a Critically Curious Research Disposition

Silva, Elise (2023) Authority, Information Justice, and Source-Based Writing: Cultivating a Critically Curious Research Disposition. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF
Restricted to University of Pittsburgh users only until 6 September 2024.

Download (2MB) | Request a Copy


Located at the nexus of English composition, information and library science, and community-engaged writing, this project investigates how social justice methods can inform source-based writing behaviors in today’s charged information landscapes. Even though we live in a time of increased access to information, research, and new media, we also live in a time of doubt, distrust, and misinformation. Infoglut has left information consumers confused as to what/who they can trust, and how they fit into complicated information ecosystems. At the center of this quandary is a question of source authority—a concept which carries with it problematic histories of power and oppression, but also the weight of trustworthiness and credibility. Given the ways that hierarchical knowledge-making structures and information dissemination platforms have excluded marginalized groups in both content and creation, it is prudent to be wary of institutional markers of authority in research writing. Yet the blatant disregard of authoritative sources in today’s “post-truth” information landscape creates destructive political realities, including climate change denial and anti-vaccination campaigns. This dissertation responds to these realities by complicating notions of source authority and suggesting ways that nuanced research dispositions might be cultivated. Namely, this dissertation suggests that researchers cultivate a critically curious research disposition—one that approaches sources and research writing processes with both skepticism and openness. This project examines questions of source authority, social justice, and critical curiosity using two application-based case studies. The first case study is a community-engaged Black feminist Wikipedia editing project located in a systemically under resourced neighborhood in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. The second is a qualitative study of first-year composition students’ attitudes toward source authority and research-related curiosity at the University of Pittsburgh.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Silva, Eliseelise.c.silva@gmail.comecs86
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairVee,
Committee MemberScott,
Committee MemberMiller,
Committee MemberPurdy,
Date: 6 September 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 May 2023
Approval Date: 6 September 2023
Submission Date: 17 July 2023
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 188
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > English
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Information Literacy, Source-based Writing, English Composition,
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2023 01:19
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2023 01:19


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item