Research 101 in the SCA

Quoting, Summarizing, Paraphrasing, Citations and You - Research 101 in
the SCA
Rhi Ferch Bryan
Beginning the Research Process
How to find a research topic right for you
- What do you love?
- What do you do?
- Do you want to prove/disprove what’s out there? Ex. Dancers of Cadiz, Myths of Patchwork in Period, etc
Decide on documentation, a research paper or supported research
- Documentation is the proof you have that what your are doing is
“period” - not as long (necessarily) or cohesive as a research paper.
Ex. Indian Dance
- Research papers show substantiated proof on a specific subject and is
written in a formal essay style. (hint-make your paper with a
specific focus - anything too broad will either sound like you have
not done enough research or you will end up writing War and
Peace in three volumes - keep papers a reasonable length!
Ex. The Role of the Court Dancer in Gupta India.
- Supported Research shows what they did in period and how you
duplicated it - can be formally written or not - this is a fairly new
area that is evolving in the SCA right now.
Ex. Gupta Court Dance and Costume
When Wikipedia is Not Your Friend and Other Research Pitfalls to Avoid
A. Not all sources are created equal - either in print or online
Great sources to start with: J-Stor online, V&A, Major Universities,
Museum Exhibits, etc
B. If you use wikipedia, how to use it wisely
- never cite wikipedia or use it as a main resource! Remember it is a
working rough draft done by unpaid bored laypeople.
-use wikipedia as a jumping off point - it has links at the bottom of each
-wikipedia is good for surfing for big picture ideas
When to Summarize, Paraphrase or Quote
A. Summarize:
- educating the audience
- when huge background info is needed
Ex. - Historical Backdrop for a country and time (Roman England)
B. When to paraphrase
- when the original is too long or bulky
- when you need the general idea and not tiny details
Ex. - Various ways of dyeing in that area (if you are just talking about
costume and not a paper on dyeing techniques, etc)
C. When to quote
- when accuracy counts
- to highlight specific ideas, details, dates, etc
Ex. - Quoting from an original in period source to prove your point, etc.
D. All three - summarizing, paraphrasing, quoting - MUST be cited!
Putting in the Picts - Formatting Pictures in Research Papers and
A. All pictures must be credited (cited)
B. Use Figure 1, Figure 2 to refer to your pictures and avoid confusion on the
part of the reader/judge
V. Why to Cite- What’s the Big Deal Anyway?
A. Citations are for other people to search out the research you are using- this is
one of the reasons to have citations! (Thank you Mistress Therasia for this
B. Citations are also important as they show what area you have researched for
your documentation or research paper - you may have missed a huge area
that someone can help you discover once they scan your bibliography.
Choosing a Bibliography vs. an Annotated Bibliography
A. Regular Bibliography - make sure it is consistent with the citation style you
have picked!
- best used for general research or research in a well-known area (Elizabethan
B. Annotated Bibliography- a bibliography that contains as short (1-2 sentence)
summary of the work being cited (Mistress Hanna)
- best used for unusual topics that most in the SCA are not familiar with
- Annotated Bibliographies are also wonderful to have a master list of all books
you use - it is much easer to find a book in your collection if you have
annotations to go by.
VII. When to Use a Works Consulted Page
This is not used often but may be included when you have researched using
several common works and want your audience to know you are familiar
with them, but did not use or cite them in your work.
VIII. Citation Styles - advantages and disadvantages of each
MLA - most common, most well known - usually taught first in high
APA - used in education, second most common style taught
Turabian and Chicago Style - Turabian is the simpler form of Chicago
style - incorporated footnotes or endnotes - makes reading much easier,
gives dates for historical figures - used in history writings, publications,
IX. Citation Machines- making life easier for you!
A. The Best of the Best: (Thank you Mistress
B. MLA citation generator:
C. Only MLA is free with this one:
X. Special considerations when using the internet for citation and reference
A. Correct referencing
B. Time dating and annotating
C. Reference for online citing- The Columbia Guide to Online Style by Janice R.
Walker and Todd Taylor
D. - this is the Walker / ACW
style sheet that summarizes the Columbia standards for online citing
XII. Presenting your research
A. Margins
B. Font
C. Consistency again!!
D. Having a reader - or too (get it?)
E. Displaying your hard work
-binding and other finishing ideas
-set the stage with props
- Entering at local events - contact the A&S person in advance, etc.