Summary of Assignments

The assignments for this course will involve several presentations of material to the class and a handful of written responses to material covered in class.  The final "project" will be an annotated bibliography that students will work on throughout the semester.

There will be two presentations of search resources, one more substantive than the other (see lists on the courses server).  These presentations will be screen casts using the program screencast-o-matic (again, see the courses server) and will be uploaded so that everyone in the course can see them.  The video will be between 5 and 8 minutes and should demonstrate how one uses the given resource to do research.  You will all then be required to watch the screen casts of your fellow classmates (as well as Amber and my examples on Google Scholar and JSTOR respectively) and use some of those search engines to work on your bibliographies.  We will discuss details of how to make screen casts and what sort of information you should include in them further in class.

The written essays (one on how we produce new information, one on plagiarism, and one a write-up of the library visit) will all be due Monday morning after the class in which they are discussed (see dates below).  Each response need only be a couple of pages providing your own viewpoint or opinion about the topics that we will have covered in class.  Generally, these responses work better when you use your own voice and not simply summarize the discussion that we already had in class. 

The library visit write-up, however, can have more factual information about your visit and less opinion than the other two essays; the library essay will also probably be slightly longer.  For this response, you will need to visit a major research library sometime prior to the end of Spring Break.  This can be a major university library (from Columbia to UMass to UVM) or it can also be a specialized research library (the Smith Art Library or the Vermont State Archives) but it should be a library with significantly larger holdings than Marlboro and a library in which serious research occurs.  We will present the results of our visits in class on the first session after spring break.

Lastly, the annotated bibliography will incorporate books and articles and other resources that you have uncovered using the various techniques covered in class and should ideally connect to work done in other courses.  In the past, students have used the bibliography as the research for a larger paper in another course, as the basis for a tutorial, or even as preliminary plan research.  While we want the bibliography to follow the format of a tradition annotated bibliography, we have two supplementary requirements - the citation style should be one that you've never heard of selected from the Zotero output list (meaning you will need to use zotero for your bibliography), and you should include in your annotations what search engine or method you used to find the entries you've included.

We will discuss all of these assignments in more detail in class and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Assignment Percentages:

Description Grade Percent Due Date
Participation 20
Research Tools Presentation:
Major Resource 15 Feb 23
Minor Resource 5 April 5
Reading Responses:
The Idea of New Information 10 Feb 13
Plagiarism 10 March 12
Library Visit and Description 15 April 2
Annotated Bibliography 25 April 25


Last modified: Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 4:22 PM