Presentation on theme: "Research and MLA Documentation NEC FACET Center. How to get started Study your assignment sheet closely. Ask yourself, “what does my instructor want?”"— Presentation transcript:
How to get started Study your assignment sheet closely. Ask yourself, “what does my instructor want?” Decide on a topic. Decide on a question to answer through research. Conduct research.
How do I decide on a research question? First, brainstorm. Freely jot down questions about your topic. Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Then, answer them.
For example... Topic : Anti-Depressants Possible Question : What are some negative aspects of anti-depressants?
After asking questions... Pick your favorite question. Then, you may need to narrow it to make it more manageable and/ or challenging. Narrowed Question : Are doctors overly prescribing anti-depressants to America’s youth? Hint: Keep in mind the purpose of your essay. Are you attempting to entertain, persuade, inform, etc.?
How do I conduct research? First, develop a research schedule with deadlines. Hint: Be realistic: Researching is time- consuming, and you may encounter problems; therefore, you will need to keep your schedule flexible. Research Sched. 1. F ind ten sources 2.Annotate 4 sources 3.Annotate 6 more 4.Make note cards 5.Make bib cards 6.First draft 7.Revise
Begin looking for secondary sources Then, recheck your instructor’s guidelines. Are internet sources allowed? Does the publication date matter? Use a variety of sources. Possible Sources Scholarly Journals, Newspapers, Magazines Books & Electronic Texts Web Sites
How do I find sources in print form? Use the electronic catalogue in the library for books. Use the topic, author, or title index for anthologies. Ask a librarian when in doubt. Use me!
WARNING If you find a source you are interested in but are unable to check out, keep record of its citation information, so you can easily relocate it. Otherwise, you may never find it again!
How do I find internet sources? Select and access a search engine like. Type in a key word: Prescriptions Hint: use AND to join two words together: Prescriptions and Youth Use OR to join two or more words together: Prescriptions or Antidepressants or Depression
How do you know whether an internet source is credible? Consider the website’s 1.Author: Does he or she give biographical info? If so, what does it indicate? 2.Sponsorship: Who, if anyone, supports the site? 3.Address:.com= business.edu = educational.org = nonprofit organization
In other words, Many sites are not reputable. Carefully consider a source’s credibility before using it.
How do I find electronic journal and newspaper articles? Access the library online Select a database (EBSCOhost, JSTOR, etc.) Type in a key word or phrase Select the full text option
Warning Reading an entire source is time-consuming. Instead, preview a source to decide whether you want to use it.
How do I preview a source? 1.Read the title. Does it give any clues as to what the author will discuss? 2. Skim through the article or book to note some of its main points. Are they relevant to your research question? 3. Find the author’s name and credentials. Is he or she reliable?
Once you select your sources, begin taking notes. Highlight important ideas. Mark statements you might use as quotes either by starring or underlining. Write down your questions, reactions, and ideas in a separate notebook or in the margin.
Next, organize your notes. Arrange your notes according to key ideas. Ask yourself, “how can I develop main points to support my research question?” Point # 1 Point # 2 Point # 3
Then, develop an outline. (An outline serves as a map for your entire paper.) Outline I. A. i. ii. B. i. ii. iii. C. i. ii. (over)
Begin drafting. You will use your research throughout your essay in two different ways. paraphrase quote
What is a paraphrase? When you put another source’s ideas into your own words. Look at this example... Source’s words : Brooks probably expects that readers will associate beans with being inexpensive and ordinary. Given those connotations, it seems safe to conclude that this couple’s eating beans suggests mostly that they are poor. Paraphrase : Brooks may choose to use beans to imply the couple is poor.
Isn’t paraphrasing wrong? No, but PLAGIARIZING is! Stop, right there, buddy!
Definition of Plagiarism: Wrongfully using another person’s ideas. Hey, you can’t steal my ideas! I deserve credit!
How to avoid plagiarism... Reword the author’s ideas completely. Do not use the same diction (words). Source: A dream deferred can be compared to a raisin drying up in the sun because as a once juicy raisin dries up it shrivels, becomes smaller and smaller, and looks withered and unappealing. When paraphrasing this text, avoid words like “shrivels,” “withered,” and “unappealing.”
Also, Rearrange your sentence structure so your paraphrase will differ from the original text. Source: A dream deferred can be compared to a raisin drying up in the sun because as a once juicy raisin dries up it shrivels, becomes smaller and smaller, and looks withered and unappealing. Paraphrase: Some think a dream deferred is like a raisin because just as raisins shrink over time, one’s dreams fade or lessen over time.
A good rule for paraphrasing... 1.Cover the original source’s words with your hand. 2. Think of a new way to word the text. 3. Write the new way down. 4. Recheck the original source to see if you accurately summed up the author’s ideas.
Practice How would you paraphrase this author’s idea? “Traveling through the Dark” seems to be about a man finding a deer on the road, but what it’s really about is our journey through life and the difficult decisions we face along the way.”
How? 1. At the beginning of every quote or paraphrase, mention you are using another source. One critic expounds... One online article indicates... John Russell writes...
Hint: When introducing a quote or paraphrase by the author’s name, use his or her full name the first time and the last name only thereafter. John Russell says, “Hemingway was an Existentialist” (324). In fact, Russell later explains...
2. Once you have stated the author’s ideas, give the source’s information. According to John Smith, upon taking the medicine, some may experience nausea (341). Since the author’s name is given first, only the page number is referenced in parenthesis.
Another Example: One study indicates, “children who celebrate Christmas are more likely to celebrate Halloween” (Smith 21). Since the author is not mentioned first, the author’s name and page number should be referenced in parenthesis.
What if a source does not have a page # ? Give only the author’s name in parenthesis. According to one online article, the U.S. did not enforce child labor laws until the 1930s (Wade). One critic insists, “Shakespeare surely means to demean women in The Taming of the Shrew” (West).
What if a source does not have a page # or author? Give a shortened version of the article’s title in parenthesis. An article from Newsweek indicates the U.S. may increase the cost of all passports by twenty percent next year (“Passports”). The original source’s title is “Passports: An Unfair System,” so the title is reduced to “Passports.”
Citing a source with two or three authors Give both author’s names in parenthesis: Yet, as one source indicates, neither company should eliminate its employee benefits (Yager and Min 21).
Miscellaneous on Quoting If you wish to leave out part of a text, you must use an ellipses. Text: The video aided instruction amongst other classroom tools helps visual learners. Quote: “ The video aided instruction... helps visual learners.”
Miscellaneous on Quoting When quoting, you must use the exact words of the text.
Include a Works Cited page Format: “Works Cited” is centered on the page Do not number entries Entries are in alphabetical order according to the first letter of the entry Use a hanging indent Double space Include an entry for every source you use
Example: Works Cited Brendal, Tom. “The Benefits of Yoga.” Healthline. Boston: Harrington Publishers, 2005. 121-35. “In the Name of Fitness.” Fitness Weekly. 2004. Web. 23 Oct. 2005. Little, Carol. Overweight America. Detroit: Oxford UP, 1998. Mann, Wendell. “For Ever Thin: How to Achieve Your Desired Weight.” Health Matters. New York: Thompson Wadsworth, 2003. 23-30.
Note... Different sources are sited according to their own format.
A final tip... Always refer to your writer’s handbook as MLA style is constantly changing. As always, good luck!