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Research on Lang & Ling 2009

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Doing Research on Language & Linguistics:

Doing Research on Language & Linguistics:
An Introduction 2009

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  • In LINC, search the journal title. The citation style used for this slide is the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • In LINC, search the book title. The citation style used for this slide is the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • How can you tell if the source is more authoritative than another? Look out for the author's name and credentials (degrees, achievements, designations, etc.), the sources used by the author, and presence/absence of peer review (where one’s work is checked by equals (peers) to ensure it meets specific criteria before it is published).
  • Research is an iterative process, as indicated by the dotted lines.
  • Two commonly-used boolean operators are AND & OR . AND is used to indicate that both terms must be present. OR is used to indicate that either terms may be present. You can type them in lowercase in LINC or the database (most databases recognise Boolean operators, but do check if you’re not sure). In this powerpoint, they appear in uppercase for emphasis.
  • ( ) are used just like in algebra: commands inside the innermost parentheses are executed first.
  • If you search language planning and singapore , you’ll get results on not just Singlish/Singapore English but other languages, such as Mandarin.
  • If you are interested in this article, you’ll need to check LINC+/LINC to see whether the library subscribes to the journal Language Problems and Language Planning , and if so, whether it has volume 27, issue 1.
  • If the library subscribes to the electronic version of a journal, you will see the hyperlinks “View the electronic version (full-text) via…” Our full text subscriptions are usually for the current 5 years or slightly more. Click on the hyperlinked CL Current Journals to check which issues are shelved at Current Journals.
  • Check with your lecturer or tutor for the citation style that you should be using. Whether you use LSA, MLA or another citation style, the key point is consistency!

Research on Lang & Ling 2009 Research on Lang & Ling 2009 Presentation Transcript

  • Doing Research on Language & Linguistics: An Introduction
  • Outline
    • New to research on English Language materials? Here are the topics that will be covered:
    • Interpreting references
    • Research process
    • Boolean operators & search statements
    • Using databases
    • Plagiarism & citation
    • Library services
  • Interpreting References
  • Interpreting References
    • First things first. Can you interpret your reading list or the references at the end of a book or journal article?
    • Perhaps you can interpret a book reference. But what about references to other materials?
    • Note: if appears, check out the note at the bottom of the same page.
    see powerpoint notes
  • Interpreting References: Journal Article authors article title Herring, S. C., & Paolillo, J. C. (2006). Gender and genre variation in weblogs. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 10 (4), 439-459. year journal title volume (issue) pages see powerpoint notes
  • Interpreting References: Book Chapter authors book chapter title Smith, L. E., & Cecil L. N. (2006). World Englishes and issues of intelligibility. In B. B. Kachru, Y. Kachru, & C. L. Nelson (Eds.), The handbook of world Englishes. (pp. 428-447). Malden, MA: Blackwell. year publisher book title pages editors see powerpoint notes
  • To Google or Not to Google
    • If you have an assignment to complete or thesis to write, can you use Google or Wikipedia?
    • As initial research tools, they are usually fine. But outdated pages and broken links are common problems, and you can seldom be sure whether the information is accurate and authoritative .
    • To do ‘proper’ research, you should be using authoritative sources which can be found in the library, either in print (e.g. books & journals) or electronic format (e.g. e-resources).
    see powerpoint notes
  • Research Process
  • The Research Process
    • The typical research process looks like this:
    Your topic Break down your topic into concepts List keywords from concepts Construct search statement from your keywords Search for materials such as books & articles. Use LINC & databases. Check if they are relevant Locate the materials in the library Find more sources by using references in the sources you have located Do you have sufficient sources for your assignment? Complete your assignment START HERE YES NO see powerpoint notes
  • Example of Research Topic
    • Topic: Language planning and the use of Singlish in Singapore
    • concept 1: singlish
    • concept 2: language planning
    • Consider synonyms when searching LINC or databases, eg:
    • Singlish = Singapore English
    • language planning = language policy
  • Boolean Operators & Search Statements
  • Boolean Operators: AND, OR AND OR Singapore AND language planning Singlish OR Singapore English language planning OR language policy
    • AND narrows your search & is usually used for unrelated terms
    • OR broadens your search & is usually used for synonyms
    see powerpoint notes
  • Boolean Operators: Asterisk, ( )
    • Use asterisk * for variant forms of a word
    • eg. educat* = educate, education, educational…
    • Use ( ) for grouping words
    • eg. (planning OR policy) AND language= language planning OR language policy
    see powerpoint notes
  • Creating a Search Statement
    • Singlish & language planning
    • in Singapore
    Singlish, Singapore English search statement: (singlish OR singapore english) AND (language planning OR language policy) topic keywords keywords language planning, language policy see powerpoint notes
  • Using Databases
  • LINC+/LINC vs. Databases
    • Use LINC+/LINC to search for resources in the library’s collection, i.e. books, journals, audio-visual materials, theses, etc.
    • Use databases when you have a topic and want to search for journal articles (or book reviews, conference proceedings, etc). Most databases only provide citations & abstracts, but not the full-text articles.
  • Accessing Databases or, select from this list of major databases e.g. MLA click here to browse by title, subject, type and location
  • Databases for English Language
    • Specialised databases
    • CSA Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA)
    • MLA International Bibliography
    • General databases
    • Humanities Abstracts
    • Arts & Humanities Citation Index (via Web of Science)
    • Expanded Academic ASAP
    • Jstor (full-text articles but back issues only)
    • Factiva (full-text newspaper articles from 1980s)
    • PERIND (articles on Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei & ASEAN)
  • Database in Action #1: LLBA type llba in this box type your search statement here click on title of article or ‘View record’ for more information citation title of source, which is a journal explore the useful features
  • Journal record in LINC
    • Now that you have a citation to an article which you are interested in, check LINC to find out whether NUS Libraries has the journal.
    see powerpoint notes some vols in Bound Journals some vols in Closed Stacks volumes available links to full text latest issue received In current Journals search for specific volume or year click for listing of more volumes
  • Database in Action #2: Factiva
    • You may need to look for newspaper articles. You can use either Factiva or LexisNexis Academic .
    • When searching Factiva or LexisNexis Academic, remember to use keywords which are likely to be found in the newspaper of your choice. It is rare to find jargon such as ‘language planning’ and ‘sociolinguistics’ in the newspapers!
    • For a guide on Factiva, check out
    • http://www.brainshark.com/brainshark/vu/view.asp?pi=44319
  • Database in Action #2: Factiva click on Factiva click on search builder 1. type your keywords here 2. select date or choose all dates 3. search for Straits Times and select the correct newspaper by clicking on it 4. click on run search click on title to view full article click within the boxes, then select an icon to view selected articles, email, print or save this is how an article looks
  • Troubleshooting Your Search Results
    • When searching databases, you may encounter:
    • too many results  use more keywords
    • too few results  add synonyms
    • too many irrelevant results  exclude keywords that are
    • too general
    • no results  use more general keywords, reduce number of keywords or redefine your research topic
    • Quite often, you’ll need to refine your keywords through some trial and error.
    • If you need help, check with your professor or ask a librarian ! 
  • Plagiarism & Citation
  • Plagiarism
    • Passing off someone else’s ideas as your own
    • To avoid plagiarism:
    • Jot down your sources
    • Put all direct quotes in quotation marks, e.g.
    • “ Both words and images can be evocative in their own ways and independent of each other” (Nikolajeva & Scott, 2006, p. 2)
    • Acknowledge the source even when you paraphrase, e.g.
    • Vietnam is one of the region’s fastest growing economies (Rogers, 2008)
    • Create a reference section, e.g.
    • Nikolajeva, M., & Scott, C. (2006). How picturebooks work. New York: Routledge.
  • Citation
    • Why cite?
    • back-up your arguments
    • acknowledge intellectual debt
    • show the research done
    • help readers verify your claims
  • Citation Styles
    • Style sheet for American Psychological Association (APA)
    • http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
    • http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/instruct/guides/apastyle.pdf
    • Style sheet for Linguistic Society of America (LSA)
    • http://www.lsadc.org/info/pubs-lang-style.cfm
    • Style sheet for Modern Language Association (MLA)
    • http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/01/
    • Using EndNote to import references
    • http://libpweb1.nus.edu.sg/lion/e/endnoteGuide.html
    see powerpoint notes
  • Library Services
  • Materials Not Found in Library
    • Request the library to purchase new books : subject to relevance to NUS’ teaching & research needs and availability of funds
    • Request for Document Delivery Service (DDS): honours and graduate students only
    • For both services, go to the library portal at www.lib.nus.edu.sg , click on login at the top left corner and click on e-forms.
  • Need Help? Phone: 6516-2028 Email: [email_address] -for queries on English Language [email_address] -for general queries Walk in: Information desk @ Central Library Level 5