Sometimes the hardest part of any research project is determining how to look for relevant sources, and knowing where to look for the information you need in order to complete a project. To that end, you are going to complete the worksheet linked below to help you identify (a) potentially useful terms for researching your topic, and (b) different types of primary and secondary sources which you can use to create your narrative.
Your Source Scavenger Hunt will be due on March 24th.
This assignment is going to require you simply IDENTIFY potential sources for your final paper. You will not need to read them deeply for this portion of the project, although that will be coming soon. You will, however, need to refresh your MLA citation skills. If you’ve forgotten how to properly cite something, please use the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). It has a marvelous page on MLA citation, and is the gold standard for finding out how to cite anything.
Now. As a huge technology nerd, I certainly understand and empathize with the desire to use the Internet as frequently as possible when doing research. And what with Google books, Google scholar, and many archives and libraries digitizing their materials, it is possible to do some significant research from the comfort of your wireless-enabled device.
You’ll find that the more complex, specific, and rigorous the research project you undertake, the greater the likelihood that you will need to physically go to a library and look at– gasp!– actual books and periodicals. Libraries are also amazing because they have research librarians– people who understand the art and science of looking for answers. Librarians are truly awesome people to have on your side when you’ve got a paper to write. Luckily, there are a number of libraries which you can easily access in our local area:
- North Cobb High School Media Center— This is in our building, guys. You have no excuse for not going and making an effort. None. Ms. Wheeler and Mr. McDonald are great resources; if you’re stumped in your research, ask them for help! (Ms. Wheeler is so awesome she actually wrote you a list of potentially useful online databases and archives: Online Historical Primary Sources. Bow before her research skills.)
- Cobb County Library System— No matter where you live in the county, there should be a branch near you. However, if you want more academic or obscure sources, try the Central Branch in Marietta. Also, you should be aware of a lovely thing called “Inter-Library Loans” (ILL). If the Cobb County Library System doesn’t have a book or periodical you need, it’s possible they can get the text you need sent to the library from another system– you just need to ask at the reference desk about the procedure.
- Kennesaw State University Library— Depending on where you live, this may be more or less convenient for you. However, if you want to get really serious about your research (and you should ALWAYS be serious about your research), you should consider hitting the stacks. Beyond being our closest major university, KSU is also part of the University System of Georgia, which means that you might be able to access materials normally held at other universities in the state which might be too far for you to visit. You won’t be able to check out any books from KSU since you’re not students or faculty, but you can always take notes, make copies, or take photos on your phone of relevant sources.
Libraries are some of my favorite places for research, but you should also know that you can do lots of really great research at other institutions like museums. Think of all the great museums we have in Atlanta, many of which have to do with history (local, national, and global), technology, and cultural production. You may be able to get good information from a museum’s website, or you might try calling and seeing if they have an educational or research program. Also consider sites like the Carter Presidential Library, the Carter Center, and the King Center.
In short, the information is out there. You just have to be willing to do the leg work in order to find it. Don’t be lazy. Go explore.
Once you have finished the source scavenger hunt, it will be time to move on to the Annotated Bibliography!