Searching for Literature BAPP WBS 3835 Paula Nottingham 17/3/11
What is Literature? <ul><ul><li>What is literature and what does it mean to your topic and project? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Searching for work-related or disciplinary content about your topic – what is the project about? Discipline is like ‘dance’ or ‘media’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thinking about the levels of criticality of these sources (ex. academic research or professional sources – where is the knowledge coming from?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seeing what concepts or theories (abstract ideas) relate to your practice as a creative professional (your experience in the workplace) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These may also relate to Professional Practice (Eraut), Communities of Practice (Wenger), Experiential Learning (Kolb) </li></ul>
Data Sources <ul><li>Thinking about the topic and searching for sources to find out about it: </li></ul><ul><li>What are data sources? </li></ul><ul><li>What am I interested in? Where is it ‘located’ and therefore from which potential sources can I generate knowledge of it? What do I expect these sources to be able tell me? (Mason, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Large scale studies, mapping documents from the industry or government sources, policy documents in education, people, organisations, texts, events – think about issues of access </li></ul>
Reviewing Literature – making choices “ The selection of available documents (both published and unpublished) on the topic, which contain information, ideas, data and evidence written from a particular standpoint to fulfil certain aims or express certain views on the nature of the topic and how it is to be investigated, and the effective evaluation of these documents in relation to the research being proposed” (p.13). Hart, C. (1998) Doing a Literature Review , London: Sage Publications.
Reading Literature for content Use critical thinking when reading literature “ Critical thinking calls for a persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends” (Glaser 1941, found in Fisher 2001) Looking for academic argument and evidence… Activity: capturing the author’s position (Cottrell, Critical Thinking Skills, 2005) Read Passage 3.4 see if you can ‘get’ the argument…
Passage 3.4 It was initially believed that young children could not understand other people’s points of view or undertake tasks such as counting and measuring until they were as least seven years of age. However, it seems the problem does not lie in children’s capacity to do these things so much as in their understanding of what is being asked and why. If there is no obvious purpose, or they do not understand the language used, children find tasks difficult. Even young children can perform tasks formerly considered too advanced for them, as long as these are set up in ways that make sense to them. Problems that involve teddies or drinks, for example, may be meaningful to a very young child, whereas tasks with counters and beakers are not.
Good Academic Practice Citation for words and images – any ideas that are quoted or paraphrased – you must reference these in a Bibliography, review university guidelines on copyright – use Harvard referencing – WORDS and PICTURES Keeping annotations of literature throughout the process is helpful (writing notes while reading to refer to later) for evaluating the literature Making notes through process about key academic arguments that will inform your topic area and project work Include research books in Bibliography : ex. Bell, Cottrell
Sticking to your topic search <ul><li>Watch out not to wander too far away from your topic – try to focus on the articles that you can download or have the most relevance. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to be more specific in your search terms – then you will find full-text articles you can download </li></ul><ul><li>You may find you cannot download some articles because the university library does not have these electronic sources, make a note of the citation and see if you can get it somewhere else or find something similar that you can use. </li></ul>
Searching on Google – gives you some interesting ‘big picture’ ideas but can include lots of unwanted commercial and erroneous sources
Google Scholar limits the search to more academic or professional sources. It sometimes leads your to publisher’s websites that want tot sell you articles. Copy the name of the journal or book and see if it is available at the Middlesex library wither in book or journal form.... These are free to use as a student.
Visually scan what is on offer from the google search BUT go past the first page because Google decides for you and you want to decide on the choices yourself choose a likely source.
Make a decision about how this will give you information about your topic.
Download the source and read it. Many of these articles will talk about research or studies that people have done about their topics… so you need to make some judgments about how this relates to what you are doing.
You can go to the catalogue for books and journals and also electronic sources.
Athens login is required to access the Middlesex library electronic journals.
Basic search techniques (Middlesex Website) * or ? allows you to shorten a word but pick up it’s variant endings in a search e.g. account* will pick up account, accountant and accounting AND, NOT and OR join or exclude keywords “ phrase” – putting a phrase in speech marks means that it will be searched in exactly the way that it is entered (bracketed keywords) allow you to perform quite sophisticated levels of searches Boolean Operators Google and Google Scholar do not use these added words for searches – but they are sometimes used within databases and can cut down search time using electronic searches with databases.