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RACE & ETHNIC STUDIES: Academic Inquiry

What is "the literature"?

How we distinguish between popular and scholarly information sources in order to select the sources whose purpose, authority, and audience are consistent with our information needs

Research Process

  • Research doesn't happen in a straight line from start (assignment prompt) to finish (polished paper/presentation).
  • Research includes finding background information to help you shape your ideas.
  • Research incorporates analyses from journalists and scholars, whose ideas help you reframe and revise your research questions.
  • Research includes making evaluative decisions about which and whose perspectives to incorporate into your own scholarship.


 

How could I use this source of information?

What could a writer/presenter/performer do with this source?

More on "How to Use Sources Effectively."

Based on Bizup, J. (2008). BEAM: A rhetorical vocabulary for teaching research-based writing. Rhetoric Review 27.1, 72-86.

From Topic to Research Questions

                                                                      

Learn more about narrowing a topic and developing a research question.

Does the information source fit my assignment?

Information Need Sources to Consult Search Tools & Help
Overview of Topic
  • Encyclopedias
  • Handbooks
  • Ask a librarian
  • Search Primo (Limit by Resource Type: Reference Entry)
Definitions
  • Dictionaries
  • Handbooks
  • Ask a librarian
  • Search Primo (Limit by Resource Type: Reference Entry)
Primary Sources (first hand or contemporary accounts)
  • Books
  • Digital archives
  • Magazines & newspapers
  • Videos
Secondary Sources (comprehensive and/or detailed analyses)
  • Journal articles
  • Books
  • Some magazines & newspapers
Facts
  • Dictionaries
  • Almanacs
  • Statistical Handbooks
  • Ask a librarian
  • Search Primo
Current Events, Popular Culture
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Video
Historical Information
  • Books
  • Digital archives
  • Magazines & newspapers
  • Film
Evaluative Sources
  • Book reviews
  • Film/video reviews
  • Ask a librarian
  • Search Primo
  • Use How Do I? search