Research Tips Slideshow

Research Tips
For Literature Students
Presented by
Ranger College Library
This presentation is designed to support
you as you use electronic and print
resources to:
 Identify sources of critical essays
 Cite sources for a research paper
"The purpose of research is not simply to
retrieve data, but to participate in a
conversation about it (Brent 109).”
Research is a social activity intended to create:
What is Plagiarism?
Because your purpose is to create new
knowledge while recognizing those scholars
whose existing work has helped you in this
pursuit, you are honor bound never to commit
the following academic sins:
 1) Plagiarism: Literally "kidnapping,"
involving the use of someone else's words as
if they were your own (Gibaldi 6). To avoid
plagiarism you must document direct
quotations, paraphrases, and original ideas
not your own.
 2) Recycling: Rehashing material you
already know thoroughly or, without
your professor's permission, submitting
a paper that you have completed for
another course.
 Don’t turn in a paper you have already
Is it plagiarism?
Take this short quiz to find out!
Beginning Research
Online vs. Print
Book vs Computer (from Sydney Morning Herald)
Finding Critical Essays
Print sources in the library
Reference section
• CLC – Contemporary Lit. Criticism
• TCLC- 20th Century Lit. Criticism
• Novels for Students
Look for call number PN771
(Library of Congress)
Books to borrow
Circulating Non-Fiction
Where is this located?
813, 814 in Dewey Decimal System
“P” Library of Congress
Finding critical essays online
 To use Texshare databases:
 Search Databases
On campus,
You will automatically be logged on.
Off campus,
The user ID is: rcc5162
Password: tx76470
Library web page
Click here!
Online Article from Gale
(Literature Resource Center)
Literature Resource Center
Will be near lower right corner
Literature Resource Center
Basic search
type in title of work
Click “name of work,” search
Tutorials for more help
Tutorials are on the
library’s web page!
Other online sources
 There are many Web pages devoted to
individual authors.
 Some are unofficial fan sites and as such
may not be appropriate resources for a
scholarly paper, but they may contain ideas
for topics and provide interesting information
about your author.
Credibility of online sources
 I. Authority
 Is there an author?
 Is the page signed?
 Is the author qualified? An expert?
 If the page includes neither a signature nor
indicates a sponsor, is there any other way
to determine its origin?
 Look for a header or footer showing
affiliation. Look at the URL. Look at the domain. .edu,
.com, .org, .net
 Anyone can publish anything on the
 It is often hard to determine a web
page's authorship.
 Even if a page is signed, qualifications
are not usually provided.
 II. Accuracy
 Is the information reliable and error-free?
 Is there an editor or someone who verifies/checks the
 Remember…
 Unlike traditional print resources, web resources
rarely have editors or fact-checkers.
 Currently, no web standards exist to ensure
 III. Objectivity
 Does the information show a minimum of bias?
Is the page designed to sway opinion?
Is there any advertising on the page?
 Rationale
 Frequently the goals of the sponsors/authors are
not clearly stated.
 Often the Web serves as a virtual “soapbox.”
 Is the page dated?
 If so, when was the last update?
 How current are the links?
 Have some expired or moved?
 What topics are covered?
 What does this page offer that is not found
 What is its intrinsic value?
 How in-depth is the material?
 Rationale
Web coverage often differs from print coverage.
Frequently, it's difficult to determine the extent of
coverage of a topic from a web page. The page
may or may not include links to other web pages
or print references.
Sometimes web information is "just for fun",
a hoax, someone's personal expression
that may be of interest to no one, or even
outright silliness.
Citation Help
 MLA Handbook (library reserve shelf &
in Reference)
 Online Sources:
Son of Citation Machine
Also ---KnightCite
On the library web page!
For more help…