Eng 1213 Strong

Why should I 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.

Where does information come from?

The cycle of information is an interesting one.  Research starts with an idea. Someone becomes curious about something and wants to explore it.  Literature reviews are conducted, empirical evidence is gathered.  The researcher may wish to cross disciplinary lines and take a literary theory and apply it to another field. The researcher writes an article.  If the article adds to the body of knowledge or presents a new concept, a journal in that discipline might be interested in publishing it. Article submissions go through a reviewing process in which multiple reviewers will read and comment on the article.  This is an example of a refereed journal article. If it passes the review process, the article is published in the journal.  Indexers read journal articles and assign subject headings to the articles and place the citation in indexes (such as MLA Bibliography).  Researchers comb indexes to find articles, and the whole cycle starts over.  This is a cycle that occurs right here at NSU.  Our faculty and students are publishing. 

What is the difference between a magazine and a journal?

  1. The intended audience--journals are for experts in a field and magazine articles are for the general public.
  2. Content--magazines contain short, popular articles, illustrations, and advertisements.  Journal articles are longer and contain research and bibliographies.
  3. Indexing--popular magazines are covered in different  indexes or databases.
How to Identify Scholary Journal Articles
Peer Reviewed Journals (tutorial)

How are the journals stored in the library?microfilm

Journals can be stored in any of the following formats:  

  • print
  • bound
  • micorfilm
  • microfiche
  • electronic

Where can I find these formats in the  NSU Library?                              

Library of Congress

Where can I find a critical article about my literary work?

What are some other ways to explore the literary work?

Use the Library Catalog to find books that contain other works by the author, such as a collection of short stories or poetry.  Do a subject search on the author's last name to find biographies and criticisms on the author.

The time period or themes mentioned in the literary work can also be researched to add depth to the criticism.  For instance in the short story explores the topic of  a specific religion, research the religion to help understand the short story. 

If the literary work is written during the Civil War, research it to find parallels in the literary work.

How do I Locate Internet Sources?

Try  The English Server [] or the library’s English Resources Web Page.  For a generic search engine, try Google .  
Internet Search Engines Available

Some (hopefully) reliable approaches to finding good Web sources:

Best Information on the Net
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

How do I Critically Assess Information?

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?

How do I Locate Resources not Available at NSU?

Interlibrary loan is available free of charge in which books and copies of articles can be borrowed from other libraries.  Allow approximately two weeks for interlibrary loan requests to be received.

Where can I Locate an M.L.A. Style Manual?

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. Try the Modern Language Association Web page.  For help in citing resources, try the KnightCite Bibliography Machine.

Are there any online tutorials that can help me?

Research Strategy -- Provides steps and concepts involving the research process.
Citations -- How to cite most common resources using MLA and APA

How do I find these Library Resources through the Web?

Many of the resources listed above are available through 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