• How does research improve my writing?
  • What have I learned about research?
  • What am I having trouble with in my research?

Citations Workshop

Get into groups and find one method of research that you, as a group, feel least comfortable with. We will compile a list, as a class, of the most challenging things about research we have encountered so far.

After we have discussed research methods, we will spend a little time discussing citations. Please ask me questions! Often, questions about citation seem simple or obvious, but citing can be a confusing process at first, so don't feel like you should know everything yet.

Integrating Sources

  • Look at the links for reviews of the Dark Knight.

Roger Ebert, Peter Travers, Richard Corliss, David Ansen, Emmanuel Levy, Claudia Puig

Sweet movie, huh? Now we're gonna write a short paragraph on it.

  • Your thesis is that this movie surpassed the original film (Batman Begins) and is the greatest superhero film of all time.
  • I want you and your groups to use quotations from these articles to prove this argument.
  • Each paragraph must include a direct quotation, a summary, and a paraphrase.
  • This is how you will write your paper, block by block. Starting with your thesis, you find sources to support your topic, and incorporate it from there. Remember, this is what you think about your topic, and the sources should help you along (or possibly change your thesis a little) Also remember that right now, we don't necessarily have a thesis, because we're showing all sides, but we do have a research question.
    • Remember to condense quotations that are too long, quote the sections that are the most "colorful" (in other words, you couldn't have said them yourself), and give credit for quotes and paraphrases. Stay the hell away from plagiarism!
    • Don't "quote plop." This means, don't just make a quote a whole sentence by itself, incorporate it into your sentences.
  • An example (courtesy of Garrett Wieland), in MLA style: Batman Begins, while rebooting the Batman franchise with a thoughtful, exciting origin story, doesn't quite have the thematic sweep that The Dark Knight has, or the dramatic implications. Like it's title, the film stakes out darker territory, and takes a "philosophical examination of why we need heroes, and then when we need them, what they mean" in a morally ambiguous post 9/11 America (Gilchrist 2). According to Gilchrist, the power of the movie stems from its ability to deal with real world issues, such as terrorism, while keeping the best of what audiences expect from a superhero film (1). Ultimately, it transcends Batman Begins, as well as previous superhero films by grafting its "heroics onto the blueprint of actual reality rather than that of spandex-clad supermen" (Gilchrist 1).
  • Write your paragraph on a sheet of paper, one sheet per group. We will read these aloud in class, so make it good!


  • Prepare your first draft! (see tomorrow's class plans for guidelines of what your first draft should include)