English 1213--Canan

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?

Library of Congress


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?

 Researching schools of literary criticism

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.

A Concise Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory Ref. PN 44.5.H365 1992
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.

                         Subject headings

Keyword vs. controlled vocabulary, boolean logic

                         Locating book resources

 NSU Online Catalog


                         Locating periodical resources

NSU electronic indexes

                         Locating Internet resources

Internet Search Engines Available

Some (hopefully) reliable approaches to finding good Web sources:
The Argus Clearinghouse
The Internet Public Library
Librarians' Index to the Internet
JVL NSU Subject Listing of Web 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
    Resource Coordinator
    (918) 444-3267

Page maintained by: SB Threatt
Last Updated: 08/07/2012