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Research Trails II

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Research Trails 2 due electronically by Wednesday 18 September 2013.

a) Locating Books
Task (a): Using the WorldCat catalog, identify six (6) books that you think might be useful to your project. You may use books you located during your work on Research Trail I. For each:
1) Give the proper bibliographic citation for each (refer to Purdue OWL’s guide to Chicago Manual Style). Remember to correctly alphabetize the citations as you would a formal bibliography.
2) Find out whether each book is available at G.R. Little Library? Through another library in the University of North Carolina system? If G.R. Little owns it, is it available, or will you have to recall it? (You will have to use the ECSU Library catalog for this step.)
3) If it is not in the UNC system, find at least one library that possesses it, and explain how you would go about requesting it.
4) Check out what you can, and recall/request what is not immediately available.
5) For the books that you can check out: skim through two of them and explain in two or three sentences how they might be useful to your research. Remember that the most efficient way to assess the value of a book is to read through its introduction.

(b) Using Journal Articles
Scholarly journals are collections of articles and reviews regularly published by professional organizations and/or academic presses (for instance, The Journal of British Studies is published by the North American Conference on British Studies).

Journals you find in ECSU’s journal finder are considered “scholarly” journals. Their articles are written by scholars (usually, scholars have an academic affiliation e.g. Elizabeth City State University). Their articles have footnotes or endnotes. Popular magazines (e.g. Smithsonian or National Geographic) are not scholarly journals.

Task (b): Locate two (2) journal articles (you may use any articles you found during your work on Research Trail I) and, for each,
1) Give a correct bibliographic citation.
2) Skim each article, and explain in two or three sentences how it might be useful to your research.

c) Assessing Primary Sources
You should be working regularly in your project’s primary sources.

Task (c): Provide a description of the research you have done thus far: which primary sources have you looked at? Which have you determined to be useful? Why? You are expected to describe at least two (2) primary sources you have consulted.

d) Revising Your Research Questions

Task (d): Revisit your research questions from Research Trail I. Now, think about how your work in this research trail reshaped your research questions (maybe it hasn’t, but hopefully it has). Revise your questions based on your work in this research trail. Do you have any new questions? Do any of your questions now seem more or less important?

e) Reading Secondary Literature

Task (e): Using one (1) of the books or journal articles from above: read the introductions of the book and the article in its entirety. For each:

1) Briefly research the author and her/his background. What is his or her training? When did she or he write this article? What about their background and other work can help you make sense of their point-of-view?
2) Write a brief summary that includes the author’s main arguments, the types of sources the author uses, and how the author approaches her or his topic (in other words, how do she frame her arguments and her plan to prove them)?
3) How does this work either help you reframe or focus your research questions, or what about these works helped you decide that a different source might be better?

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