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Characteristics of Scholarly Writing and Evaluating Secondary Sources.

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Presentation on theme: "Characteristics of Scholarly Writing and Evaluating Secondary Sources."— Presentation transcript:

1 Characteristics of Scholarly Writing and Evaluating Secondary Sources

2 Scholarly writings Identifiable characteristics: Specialized topic Written by academics for an academic audience Author’s name, credentials and affiliation listed Usually includes a literature review Extensively footnoted Generally not many graphics

3 Scholarly/Academic Journals Additional identifiable characteristics: A periodical with a limited number of issues per year than magazines Many sponsored by an academic organization Little advertising other than for books Generally lengthy articles 15-30 pages Generally not available for sale at a newstand – subscription only Many have names that include the words: journal, quarterly, review, bulletin

4 Peer Review / Refereed Definition: Blind-reviewed by experts who judge if the article or book provides an original contribution to the scholarship and merits publication Examples: American Historical Review Journal of Popular Culture William & Mary Quarterly

5 Publication Cycle

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7 Time Cycle Knowledge Cycle Develop & Discuss Ideas Report Research Publish Research Popularize Research Generalize & Formalize

8 Time Cycle Knowledge Cycle Develop & Discuss Ideas Report Research Publish Research Popularize Research Generalize & Formalize Publications Cycle Email, listservs, letters Dissertations, conference papers Scholarly books and journal articles Magazine articles, popular history books Encyclopedias, text books

9 Time Cycle Knowledge Cycle Develop & Discuss Ideas Report Research Publish Research Popularize Research Generalize & Formalize Publications Cycle Email, listservs, letters Dissertations, conference papers Scholarly books and journal articles Magazine articles, popular history books Encyclopedias, text books Access Cycle Google? Dissertation Abstracts UW Libraries Catalog, indexes: AHL, HA Indexes: Expanded Academic Index, Research Library; UW Libraries Catalog UW Libraries Catalog, guides to history research

10 Evaluating Secondary Sources Judging a book by it’s cover…

11 Internal considerations What is the author’s thesis? Does the author situate his/her work in the large field of scholarship on this topic? What evidence does the author use? Types of sources Appropriateness of sources to thesis/topic Are the sources appropriately cited Does the author make his/her case? Is the article/book written well?

12 External considerations Who is the author?What else have they written? Are they an expert in their topic? Check databases to see what else they’ve written Search the web to find out where they’re working

13 External considerations Who is the publisher? Is it reputable? Check the publisher’s website: University press? What other books does it publish? For journals – is it peer-reviewed: Publisher website Directories: Serials Directory Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory

14 External considerations How do others view the book/article? Book reviews Expanded Academic Index America History & Life JSTOR Is the book/article being used by other scholars? Arts & Humanities Citation Index (part of the Web of Science database)


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