Why do research?
Research can lead to information; information can lead to knowledge, and knowledge is powerful. All of the informational resources available originated from someone being curious about something, exploring it, and sharing the findings. Information can be shared in a variety of formats and examples are as follows:
|Books||Shows trends, gives history of topic, provides definitions, theories||Online Catalog|
|Journals||Covers current research on scholarly topics||Academic Search Elite|
|Magazines||Report on popular topics, news||Masterfile Premier|
|Newspapers||Report on popular topics, news||Newspaper Source|
|Government Publications||Publications on all topics prepared by federal and state agencies.||Government Information Page|
|Audio Visual||Graphic representation of topic||Online Catalog|
|Internet||Provides quick, full text information, especially on current topics.|
|Interviews||Provides a personal account of a topic||In person or through e-mail|
How is the NSU library organized?
Browse periodicals, professional web sites. Look for suggestions of needs
for further research. Within a specific discipline, what doesn't make sense
or what interests you? Check for Calls
for Papers in professional journals. Read, read, read. Watch the news
and read the newspaper to determine current issues and events. As you read,
narrow your topic. Ways to narrow a topic include geographically, by date,
by specific interest group, by issue. Do cross disciplinary studies. Explore
personal interests or topics within a major. For instance, if you are interested
in photography explore the role of the photojournalists during war. Are
there any controversial issues concerning this topic?
The following books in reference would be useful in providing an overview to different approaches in literary criticism. Besides defining the terms, some books will list examples and important individuals associated with each school or approach.
Researching schools of literary criticism
A Concise Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory Ref. PN 44.5.H365
Dictionary of Concepts in Literary Criticism and Theory Ref. PN 41.H36 1992
A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory Ref. PN 41.C83 1998
A Dictionary of Modern Critical Terms Ref. PN 41.D4794 1987
**Encyclopedia of Contemporary Literary Theory Ref. PN 81.E43 1997
The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism Ref. PN 81.J554 1994
Books and articles on the school of literary criticism or important
individuals would also be useful.
Keyword vs. controlled vocabulary, boolean logic
Locating book resources
Locating periodical resources
Locating Internet resources
Assess the quality of the Web sites listed below:
Feline Reactions to Bearded Men
Critically assessing sources
1. Identify authors who are outstanding in their fields, determine the
credentials of the author. Does the author have a degree in the field,
is the author a professor?
2. Date of publication--is it recent? On Web pages, do the links work?
3. Does the publisher have a good reputation? Is it published by a professional association or university press? Is the journal refereed? On Web pages, check the domain (.edu is educational, .gov is government, .com is commercial, .net is network, .org is organizational)
4. How was the resource received by the critics?
5. Completeness of the material. Does the source have an index, bibliography?
6. Is the language slanted or biased?
7. Does it include well known facts or research studies? Is the information complete, accurate, objective?
8. What is the purpose of the resource? Is it for the general public, children, scholars? Is the goal to market persuade, educate?
When researching literary topics, see the Literary Criticism page.
Am I done yet?
Have you tried, books, magazines, journals, newspapers, government publications,
Internet sources, interviews, audio visuals? If not, you aren't done! Remember,
research is empowering.
How do I cite sources using M.L.A. style?
The M.L.A. Handbook for Writers of Research Papers is located on
the first floor at the call number, Ready Ref. LB 2369.G53. Also,
try the MLA Web site.
How do I find these library resources through the Web?
Many of the resources listed above are available throug the John Vaughan Library Home Page. Through the use of EZProxy software, these resources may be used from any location.
SophiaBeverley Threatt, MLS, MA
Instructor of Library Services
Languages and Literature and Communication, Art, & Theatre
Page maintained by: SB Threatt firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: 08/07/2012