- Freewrite today about Halloween, or whatever else is on your mind! :D
- Let's go back to Monday's class plans and review!
- The first thing we need to do with your sources is to use them to figure out a specific research question or problem.
- Some of you may have one in mind. If so, you can add it to the topic list!
- Whether or not you have a question or problem in mind already, you'll need to peruse your sources for one or two to read carefully.
- Choose the one that best matches these criteria: Relevant, Intelligible, Current, and Reliable.
- Relevant - You may not be able to find sources that address your question or problem directly. This is not as horrible as it might seem; it might mean that your topic is extra original! Check the length of your sources - an article of five pages or more is probably ideal for this step in the research process. Choose something that's close enough to your idea that it deepens your understanding and inspires questions and ideas
- Intelligible - Avoid using the more technical stuff for this stage in the research process. Because scholars often write for other specialists in the field, some of their jargon might be somewhat unintelligible. These sources will be valuable later, but less so for this stage.
- Current - Recently published material are especially helpful at this point because they will help guide you into the ongoing conversation about your topic. Look at the publication year for each of your sources and also examine bibliographic entries for their publication date (does your source cite recent stuff, too?)!
- Reliable - Based on your annotation information, you should have a good idea which sources are most credible. Selecting the ones that demonstrate expertise and peer review are most useful at this stage (although your popular sources will be valuable later, too!).
- The next step is to frame your research question:
- This should be something you're interested in, but that you don't already have strong convictions about. If your topic is something you've studied before, formulate your question so that it represents what you'd like to know more about in regard to your topic.
- If you can't get this done today (sometimes it takes more deliberate and attentive attention to the material in a particular source to spark an idea), you'll need to add your question to the topic page sometime this weekend. The sooner you have this done, the easier your continued research will be!
- Add your research question to the topic list!
- Draft for your history exam!!