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Writing and Thinking Guide: Fall 2020 Library Session

Writing & Thinking Library Session Learning Outcomes

  • You will be able to select keywords in order to perform effective searches. 
  • You will differentiate a scholarly article from other information formats.
  • You can identify types of authority, such as subject expertise, societal position, or special experiences
  • You will be able to recognize the limitations of citation generators and identify citation guideline resources such as Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL).

Library Session Assignment

Here's your assignment before your class meets with a librarian:

  1. Read these two articles, noting the differences between them based on what you have learned from this module on evaluating sources and determining what is considered a scholarly and non-scholarly source.

See you then!

Tips to evaluating a scholarly/peer reviewed work

1.  Authors

  • They are experts in the field 
  • Their credentials are listed in the work

2.  Audience

  • Scholarly works are written using the specialized terminology related to the field of study for experts in the field and researchers of the topic

3.  References

  • Authors use previous research in their works and cite their research with in-text citations and at the end of the work

4.  Summary of content

  • Scholarly articles contain an abstract at the beginning of the article to summarize the work
  • Scholarly books will contain a table of contents to give the reader an idea of what is included in the work

5.  Graphics

  • Tend to contain graphs, charts and tables

6.  Publications

  • Scholarly articles may go through an editorial process known as "peer review" to be considered for publication in a scholarly publication or journal.
  • Scholarly books are typically published by university presses such as Oxford Press and Cambridge Press to name a few.

Tips to choosing and using keywords

Tips to choosing and using keywords for a database search:

  • Keywords should represent the most important concepts in your topic.
  • Sometimes you must learn new vocabulary related to your topic.
  • Try multiple variants or synonyms of your keywords.
  • If you find a worthy source for your topic, look for additional keywords in the title, abstract, and subject headings.

Tips to reading and determining if the scholarly article is relevant for your research

You can determine if a scholarly article is relevant to your research without reading the entire article just by reviewing the following:

  • Abstract that summarizes the work
  • Literature review providing other work to support the research for the article and any gaps in the research to be further explored 
  • Conclusion or discussion
  • References at the end of the article

Which citation is correct?

Which of these MLA-style citations is correct? Why are the other two citations not correct?

  • SocINDEX: Ardoin, Phillip J., et al. “The Partisan Battle Over College Student Voting: An Analysis of Student Voting Behavior in Federal, State, and Local Elections.” Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), vol. 96, no. 5, Dec. 2015, pp. 1178–1195. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/ssqu.12167.
  • Search Everything: Ardoin, Phillip J, C. Scott Bell, and Michael M Ragozzino. “The Partisan Battle Over College Student Voting: An Analysis of Student Voting Behavior in Federal, State, and Local Elections: The Partisan Battle Over College Student Voting.” Social science quarterly 96.5 (2015): 1178–1195. Web.
  • Google Scholar: Ardoin, Phillip J., C. Scott Bell, and Michael M. Ragozzino. "The Partisan Battle Over College Student Voting: An Analysis of Student Voting Behavior in Federal, State, and Local Elections." Social Science Quarterly 96.5 (2015): 1178-1195.