Research Skills + Strategies


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A tutorial on doing research at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design

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Research Skills + Strategies

  1. 1. Research Skills + Strategies<br />A Workshop on Doing Research at MassArt<br />Reference Desk<br />Open M-F, 10-6<br /><br />The Morton R. Godine Library<br />Help With Your Research Needs<br /><br />617-879-7101<br />IM (via library website)<br />
  2. 2. Research Skills + Strategies<br />A Workshop on Doing Research at MassArt<br />Reference Desk<br />Open M-F, 10-6<br />Research is<br />finding, <br /> interpreting, <br /> evaluating, <br /> organizing, <br /> and sharing <br /> information <br /><br />617-879-7101<br />IM (via library website)<br />
  3. 3. Research Skills + Strategies<br />A Workshop on Doing Research at MassArt<br />What is the role of research <br /> in art & design? <br /> What about in the following examples? <br /> And in your work?<br />
  4. 4. Research Skills + Strategies<br />A Workshop on Doing Research at MassArt<br />Christo & Jeanne-Claude, The Gates, 2005<br />Asif Khan, Harvest, 2010<br />Mark Bradford, Potable Water, 2005<br />Chevy Volt, 2010<br />
  5. 5. 5<br />Research Skills + Strategies<br />A Workshop on Doing Research at MassArt<br />The Research Process in <br />STEPS<br />
  6. 6. Create + Develop a Topic<br />Plan Your Time<br /><ul><li>Budget time carefully. Try not to procrastinate</li></ul>Ask a Research Question<br /><ul><li>Brainstorm. Come up with questions about a topic. (Who, what, where, when—and especially why, how and should)
  7. 7. Make a concept map to visualize your project (Great demo at
  8. 8. Be willing to change question as research progresses</li></ul>Think Up Keywords<br /><ul><li>Think of search terms and alternate words/phrases (car vs. automobile)</li></ul>6<br />
  9. 9. Background Information<br />Encyclopedias + <br /> Other Reference Sources<br /><ul><li>Instead of—or in Addition to—Wikipedia, use
  10. 10. Library resources (get to know the library website:
  11. 11. Look for Reference Books (Ref. Stacks)
  12. 12. Check out our Research Guides by Subject
  13. 13. Use E-Resources such as Oxford Art Online (Find under Library Databases)</li></ul>7<br />
  14. 14. Find Books + Media<br />Check FLO<br /><ul><li>
  15. 15. Holdings for MassArt + other FLO Schools (SMFA, Wentworth, Emerson, etc.)</li></ul>Not in FLO? <br /><ul><li>Ask a librarian
  16. 16. Simmons (
  17. 17. BPL (
  18. 18. WorldCat ( Many items in WorldCat can be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan – ask at the Circulation Desk</li></ul>8<br />
  19. 19. Find Articles in Journals<br />Articles <br /><ul><li>Compared to books, articles tend to be shorter, more focused, and more up to date
  20. 20. Use the database tab on the library website
  21. 21. Best bets for VLII: ArtBibliographies Modern; Art Full-Text; JSTOR
  22. 22. Some articles available online; others in print; others through interlibrary loan
  23. 23. Ask a librarian if you would like help/advice (We don’t bite.)</li></ul>9<br />
  24. 24. + Images<br />Images<br /><ul><li>Use databases instead of Google. Generally high quality; documentation included; tools for cropping, presenting; copyright safe
  25. 25. MassArt’sGuide to Digital Images
  26. 26. ARTstor
  27. 27. MDID </li></ul>10<br />
  28. 28. Find Reliable Websites<br />Use Web Tools<br /><ul><li>Websites can be more up to date than books or articles, but are usually much less in depth
  29. 29. Use Advanced Search in Google – limit by domain (.edu or .org)
  30. 30. Try directories like
  31. 31. Look at Research Guides by Subject to find some MassArt-recommended websites</li></ul>11<br />
  32. 32. Evaluate Your Sources<br />Are Your Sources…<br /><ul><li>Current?
  33. 33. Reliable?
  34. 34. Authoritative?
  35. 35. Substantive?
  36. 36. Objective?
  37. 37. Scholarly or peer-reviewed (if required)?
  38. 38. Do they help to answer your research question?
  39. 39. Do you need to modify your question before writing?</li></ul>12<br />
  40. 40. The Writing Process<br />13<br /><ul><li>Use your sources to support your points
  41. 41. Quote and paraphrase properly. See this site for guidance:
  42. 42. Allow plenty of time for editing
  43. 43. Back up drafts on USB drives + online
  44. 44. Use books on this slide for guidance on composition + style (located in Reference Section of library)
  45. 45. The Writing Center and Learning Center are located on the 5th floor of the Tower (617-879-7958). A sign up book is in the reception area outside room 538. </li></ul>Sylvan Barnett, A Short Guide to Writing About Art <br />(REF N7476 .B37 2008)<br />William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White, The Elements of Style <br />(REF PE1408 .S772 2005)<br />Andrea Lunsford, The Everyday Writer (REF PE1408 .S772 2005)<br />
  46. 46. Cite Your Research<br />14<br />Document Your Sources<br /><ul><li>Ask your professor which style to use (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) Be consistent
  47. 47. Find out if you need to cite images
  48. 48. Many databases can generate citations automatically
  49. 49. For formatting, check this site (Purdue Writing Center)
  50. 50. Use the books on this slide for further guidelines
  51. 51. Ask a librarian for help </li></ul>MLA handbook for writers of research papers <br />(Ref LB2369 .G53 2009)<br />Chicago manual of style<br />(Ref PN171.F56 C57 2010)<br />Concise rules of APA style<br />(Ref BF76.7 .C66 2005)<br />
  52. 52. Research Skills + Strategies<br />A Workshop on Doing Research at MassArt<br />Reference Desk<br />Open M-F, 10-6<br />Credits:<br />The Seven Steps of the Research Process<br />Cornell University Libraries<br /><br />Icons<br />British Columbia Electronic Library Network<br /><br /><br />617-879-7101<br />Last Updated, Greg Wallace,, 1/2011<br />This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.<br />IM (via library website)<br />