INT 101 Matthew Harper
This guide will assist you with your Annotated Bibliography assignment. Any questions that you have about doing library research can be directed to Amy Gratz, the librarian for this class. You can also try asking a librarian.
APA Style Guide - created and maintained by the Purdue OWL, this guide covers the basics of citing in APA style. Also check your Little Bear Handbook, or you can come and check out the complete style guides at the library's circulation desk.
Need help? Ask a Librarian! We're happy to help you cite your sources or double-check your work!
The resources listed below are only a starting place. Depending on your topic, you may also want to look at the subject guides to find other databases to search in.
Discovery - an EBSCO service allowing you to search multiple databases and the library catalog simultaneously. It is a useful resource when you're not sure where to start, or if you're searching in multiple disciplines, but you may want to use some of the following databases, as well.
Recommended Social Science databases included in Discovery searches:
- Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection — This is a subject-specific database that covers topics in emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry & psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational and experimental methods.
- SocINDEX with Full Text — Covers all subdisciplines of sociology, including abortion, anthropology, criminology, criminal justice, cultural sociology, demography, economic development, ethnic & racial studies, gender studies, marriage & family, politics, religion, rural sociology, social psychology, social structure, social work, sociological theory, sociology of education, substance abuse, urban studies, violence, welfare, and many others.
- Sociological Collection — Provides information on all areas of sociology, including social behavior, human tendencies, interaction, relationships, community development, culture and social structure.
- PsycARTICLES — Definitive source of searchable full text articles on current issues in psychology.
Recommended Databases NOT searched in Discovery:
- Research Library — This is a general database that contains resources for a wide variety of disciplines, and so is worth checking for almost any topic.
- Social Science Journals — This is a subject-specific database that covers many topics including addiction studies, urban studies, family studies, and international relations.
- Education Journals — Covers not only the literature on primary, secondary, and higher education but also special education, home schooling, adult education, and hundreds of related topics.
- Criminal Justice — A comprehensive database supporting research on crime, its causes and impacts, legal and social implications, as well as litigation and crime trends. As well as U.S. and international scholarly journals, it includes correctional and law enforcement trade publications, crime reports, crime blogs and other material relevant for researchers or those preparing for careers in criminal justice, law enforcement and related fields.
(For more information, see this guide)
“Popular” periodicals are publications that are intended for the general public, and whose main purpose is usually entertainment. Articles in these publications are generally written by paid journalists or columnists, and reviewed by an editor.
"Scholarly" (aka "academic" or "peer-reviewed") periodicals are usually published by an association, institution, or scholarly press. They contain articles written by scholars, professors, and researchers in a particular discipline, and are intended for other scholars and researchers in the field. Articles published in these journals are sent to other experts in the field to be reviewed prior to publication.
Reasons to use Popular Sources:
- They are easier to understand, because they are written for the general public
- They are more likely to contain information on recent events
- They can give you an insight into what type of information is available to the general populace on a subject
- They are generally the most highly valued source of information in academic circles
- They are written by and reviewed by experts in the field
- The information they contain critically examines some aspect of the world
Types of Scholarly Articles:
For your Social Networking Assignment, you also need to be aware of the different types of articles you can find in scholarly journals. There are three main types of articles published in peer-reviewed journals, as laid out below. Remember that you want to use research articles for this assignment!
- Research Articles: These account for the majority of the articles published in scholarly journals. They provide the first published account of a study and the results of the study. This study can be of any type, from literary to scientific, and the format of the article will change depending on disciplinary standards.
- Case Studies: A case study is a particular type of research article that focuses on an individual person or a particular, small group of people. The data is usually more qualitative and in-depth, but cannot be generalized to a larger population, and can be more subjective.
- Review Articles: These are perhaps the second-most common type of article you will find in scholarly journals. These articles do not contain the results and discussion of a single new study, but provide an overview of a topic, usually using research articles as their sources. The most common type of review article is a literature review, which summarizes the field of research on a particular topic. These articles may be used in most papers, and are a great way of understanding a new topic and also finding more information about it.
- Editorial Articles and Related Materials: Most scholarly journals also include some non-peer-reviewed material, such as book reviews and letters from the editor. These resources may or may not be found in the databases, and generally should NOT be used as sources for papers. They are informational pieces, and may be useful for locating potential books or gauging what research topics are most interesting in a discipline at a given time.
Reading Scholarly Research Articles: Since you are not experts in the field, this can be tricky. While you should certainly read the whole thing at least once, I recommend reading the article out of order:
- Read the abstract and introduction
- Look for section headers such as "results" "discussion" or "conclusion" - read these sections thoroughly
- Read through the rest of the article, including any tables or charts
- Read the introduction and conclusion again
In addition to knowing what type of source you have, there are several other criteria for deciding whether or not to use a source in your paper. Start with the C.R.A.P. test to do a basic evaluation:
Currency: is the information recent enough for your topic?
- For this assignment, since 2000
Relevancy: does the information relate to your topic, either directly or indirectly?
- Remember that your articles all need to be very closely related to one another for this assignment
Authority: who wrote the information, and are they an authoritative source?
- For this assignment, you want to use works written by scholars who are experts in an appropriate field
Purpose: what was the intent of the author when writing this information?
- Most scholarly sources are informative, but the author may also be trying to persuade you to agree with them. You should also consider whether or not they agree with the majority of scholars on the given topic
Once you have done a general overview of the source, you will need to do a more in-depth evaluation of the source information. At this point, you will need to do a close, critical reading of the source. Most importantly, you need to apply your own critical thinking skills: does the author's argument make sense? can you think of any counter-arguments or points they failed to consider? Do they seem to be manipulating the data in any way?