Dr. Katherine D. Harris
English 201 (Fall 2007)

Research Tools

Investigating Resources
Due 9/18

Your task this week has several components:

  1. Examine the initial chapters of Harner's Literary Research Guide
  2. Overview Chapter G: "Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts"
  3. Familiarize yourself with the primary resources in your field of specialization:

Those specializing in English literature should focus on Chapter M, even if you are more interested in Irish, Scottish, or Welsh literature since Chapter M includes resources with broad foci.

Those interested in American Literature and / or in Creative Writing should focus on the chapter for American Literature.

As you examine these chapters, select 5 resources to examine. Prioritize resources you think would be useful in your future research.

Before you go to the library,

  • Verify that the King Library owns the resources you intend to examine--Harner provides LC call numbers as part of the bibliographic citation.
  • Think about how you might use these resources in your own research so that when you examine the books you'll have a context in mind.

At the library,

  • Examine each resource using Harner's description as a guide.
  • Take good notes on your experience with each volume.

In your report, address the following items in a bulleted, ordered list:

  1. Resource: what is the Harner item number?
  2. Location: where it is shelved? do we own more than one copy?
  3. Accessibility: is it on restricted access? can one check it out?
  4. Accuracy & completeness: does Harner's description match the volume's contents? does Harner omit any important data about the volume's scope or composition?
  5. Value: does having Harner's description give you an advantage over just looking at the volume on your own?
  6. Utility: how would you use this book (or anticipate using this book) in your research?
  7. Evaluation: what value would you place on this resource, on Harner's description, etc.?

FTP this research exercise to the Assignments folder before class on Tuesday, September 18th. Bring a printed copy to class for discussion/presentation.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Each entry will be assessed on the thoroughness of its responses to the above numbered items.
  • Each entry will be evaluated on a 100-point scale: items 2 and 3 are worth 10 points each; items 4, 5, 6 and 7 are worth 20 points each.