This Research Guide provides tutorials on how to use the Library's resources to complete the Humanities Research Assignment for Cristy Furr and Dr. Landis' HUM 2210 & HUM 2230 courses. Click on the tabs along the top to learn about different aspects of the research process. Below are the instructions from the syllabus.
Step 1: Selecting an article
After you log on to one of the databases listed above, choose a periodical article (not an encyclopedia article) that is appropriate to this course’s subject matter and time period. When you find an article, read over it quickly, making sure that the subject matter is relevant to the course’s subject matter and time period. Also, make sure that you understand what the article is talking about. The first article you find might not be the right one—take the time to preview it and select your article carefully. I suggest you carefully consider the length of the article you select. By this I mean that if you pick an article of only one page, you might not have enough to write about. On the other hand, if you pick a fifty page article, be aware that you will need to read and respond to the entire thing. Be smart when you select your article as this will greatly affect your success on the entire assignment.
Step 2: Preparing your written assignment
After you find and read the article you have selected, you will need to prepare your written assignment that you will submit to me to be graded. The format of your written assignment will be a list, not an essay. Your written assignment should be a typed list in which you respond to items 1, 2, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, and 4 as directed below. Be sure to number each paragraph or item in your written assignment to correspond to the assignment.
1. Thesis: Identify the article’s thesis or purpose. Either paraphrase or directly quote the article’s thesis or purpose. Always include the author’s name and the page number(s).
2. Summary: Briefly summarize the entire article in a short paragraph of 100-150 words. In this summary, cite specific examples the author uses to support his or her thesis. Write your summary in your own words. If you feel you must quote the author, only quote the author once or twice at the most, choosing what you consider particularly eloquent sentences and properly document the quote by including the author’s name and page numbers after each quote.
3. Critique: Briefly critique the article citing:
a. Strengths of the article and/or the author’s discussion of the topic. Give examples
b. Weaknesses of the article and/or the author’s discussion of the topic. Give examples
c. An audience analysis—identify to whom you think the article is directed and explain why you believe the author choose this audience. Include the age group, education level, special interests, and so forth. (If you're unsure, consider the audience of the periodical in which the article appears.)
d. How the ideas discussed in the article relate to today’s society. Be specific.
4. Citation: Document the article by writing the full bibliographic citation in MLA format. See your Bedford Handbook for citation directions.