Provide some context. Briefly describe the "popular account" you are considering: who made it and when?
How complete is the popular account? From your research, do you find important issues omitted by the account but present or even emphasized in academic literature?
How correct is the account? Does the account provide sources or arguments to back up its information? How convincing do these arguments seem? Are there substantive errors, compared to what you find in academic writing? Are there facts presented as concrete and simple that are actually disputed in academic accounts?
In there a difference in tone between the tone of the popular account and that of the academic accounts? How so? Does the popular account try to make things exciting or "mysterious" when they are not? What effect might this have on viewers/readers?
Ask yourself these questions to build your evidence, arguments, informed opinions, and conclusions:
Does your source raise questions you hadn't considered or make claims that shape your thinking? -Integrate these into your arguments to develop and focus them further
Does your source provide evidence for any of your arguments? -Integrate the relevant evidence or data into your own argument and explain its significance
Does your source take a position counter to any of your arguments? -Include these sources to strengthen your own arguments by explaining and providing evidence of why you disagree with them
What relationships do you see between your sources? -Integrate the arguments and evidence from your sources together to use them as building blocks for your own conclusions and arguments