POLI 346 research workshop


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Research tips and tricks for an American Foreign Policy class

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POLI 346 research workshop

  1. 1. Research Tips & Tricks POLI 346 American Foreign Policy Megan Fitzgibbons, Liaison Librarian
  2. 2. Let’s talk about cookies
  3. 3. Let’s talk about cookies What’s in your cookies? What’s in your term paper???
  4. 4. Your task: in groups of 3 1. Find one information source that you would use for a paper on George Bush’s “axis of evil” speech. 2. Share what you found with the class
  5. 5. Too much information?
  6. 6. Information flow Academic analysis
  7. 7. 9 How do the messages of these sources differ? Which is appropriate for your assignment?
  8. 8. Choosing your ingredients Information Type Description Books (scholarly monographs) Broad, thorough, academic treatment of a subject. Academic book chapters Examination of a specific topic. Similar to journal articles. Scholarly journal articles Detailed scholarly examination of a topic. Peer- reviewed. News & trade magazines Popular or non-scholarly treatment of a subject. Government documents Official documents published by government agencies.
  9. 9. The Course Guide
  10. 10. This guide lists links to resources that will help you find information for your assignment.
  11. 11. Encyclopedias are an excellent place to start! Written by named experts Gives a summary of Lists further the topic reading
  12. 12. Different from searching the web… Databases are like directories for finding academic articles
  13. 13. Researchers Articles Journals Other documents Databases
  14. 14. Databases: What’s the difference???  Each database provider chooses different journals, books, etc. to include in their index.  Some are specialized directories (e.g., only legal journals), while some are broad (e.g., social sciences in general, with a few journals from each discipline).  You will find that some of the databases overlap, but they all have some unique content.
  15. 15. My topic Ronald Reagan and foreign policy
  16. 16. Any of these databases is a good place to start. We’ll look at America: 19 History & Life today.
  17. 17. 20 Try synonyms and alternative terms when you search.
  18. 18. Limit to scholarly articles 21
  19. 19. 22 No full text here? Try to “FindIt” at McGill.
  20. 20. 23 Click to open the full text of the article
  21. 21. Google Scholar: also a good place to find articles and working papers. Set up your preferences to see links to McGill.
  22. 22. Search tip 1 “Exact phrase” Examples:  “New York”  “Ronald Reagan”  “climate change”
  23. 23. Search tip 2  AND “foreign policy” AND bush  OR “foreign policy” OR “foreign affairs”
  24. 24. Search tip 3: fill in the blank America Americ* American Americans
  25. 25. Search tip 4  Subject words Look for the standardized subject words or “descriptors” in the database
  26. 26. Research process 1. Select a research tool 2. Find out what has been published 3. Find the text of the item
  27. 27. If full text is not available online Search the library catalogue for the journal title If not available… Use CREPUQ or Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
  28. 28. Off campus? Virtual Private Network
  29. 29. 32 Instructions for setting up the VPN are here.
  30. 30. Bibliography
  31. 31. How to find… Obama, Barack. The Audacity of Hope. New York : Crown Publishers, 2006. Look for the title of the book in the catalogue
  32. 32. 35
  33. 33. How to find… Malloy, Jonathan. “Bush/Harper? Canadian American Evangelical Politics Compared.” American Review of Canadian Studies 34, no. 4 (2009): 352-363.
  34. 34. All articles are NOT listed directly in the library catalogue!
  35. 35. How to find… Malloy, Jonathan. “Bush/Harper? Canadian American Evangelical Politics Compared.” American Review of Canadian Studies 34, no. 4 (2009): 352-363. Look for the title of the journal in the catalogue
  36. 36. 39
  37. 37. 40 Click to find the article on the journal’s website
  38. 38. Academic integrity at McGill “McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures.”
  39. 39. Plagiarism = stealing
  40. 40. Citation woes?
  41. 41. Why cite? Credit Identify Replicate Defend
  42. 42. Tips for paraphrasing 1. Start early! 2. Take notes as you read. Put the original aside when you write 3. Check the original again for accuracy 4. Quote unique phrases and terminology 5. Record your sources
  43. 43. Original passage  Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes. Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/619/01/
  44. 44. Paraphrase example  In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to keep quoted material down to a desirable level. Since the problem usually originates during note taking, it is essential to minimize the material recorded verbatim (Lester 46-47). http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/619/01/
  45. 45. Plagiarism example  Students often use too many direct quotations when they take notes, resulting in too many of them in the final research paper. In fact, probably only about 10% of the final copy should consist of directly quoted material. So it is important to limit the amount of source material copied while taking notes. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/619/01/
  46. 46. Credit where it’s due Copyright ©1995-2009 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.
  47. 47. Where do you find articles?
  48. 48. Research process 1. Select a research tool 2. Find out what has been published 3. Find the text of the item
  49. 49. Evaluate!
  50. 50. Course guide Library materials VPN help
  51. 51. Ask Us!
  52. 52. What are your questions? Megan Fitzgibbons Liaison Librarian megan.fitzgibbons@mcgill.ca 514-398-4696
  53. 53. Image Credits  Slide 1: Juggling by timailius http://www.flickr.com/photos/9914541@N05/2832728718/. License: Attribution- Noncommercial 2.0 Generic  Slide 2: Cookies by Mrs Magic http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrsmagic/1117398599/ License: Attribution- Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic  Slide 7: Information timeline. Created by Anna Stewart, Librarian, St. Edward’s University. Retrieved September 21, 2009 from: http://libr.stedwards.edu/about_library/depts/instruction/instr_class_docs.htm. Used with permission.  Slide 18: Life ring by mag3737 http://www.flickr.com/photos/50318388@N00/2071089166 / License: Attribution- Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic  Slide 18: Ronald Reagan by limeydog. License: Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic. http://www.flickr.com/photos/71378407@N00/2631203990 /  Slide 21: Yellow-Pages by metrostation. License: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic http://www.flickr.com/photos/28803949@N00/30441950/  Slide 50: Thief by desiretofire : music is the shape of silence http://www.flickr.com/photos/desiretofire/151851052  Slide 52: Citation flowchart: Gaunt, Jessica, Nigel Morgan, Rowland Somers, Rosemary Soper, and Erica Swain. Handbook for Information Literacy Teaching. Cardiff, Wales: Cardiff University, 2007. http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/insrv/educationandtraining/infolit/hilt/index.html (accessed May 14, 2008).  Slide 54: Standing upon the shoulders of giants by mushon http://www.flickr.com/photos/74121966@N00/282287572/. Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic