Library Research Report Assignment.
400-600 words. 4-6 entries; about 60-120 words per source .
Purpose/goals of the assignment:
develop your ability to conduct scholarly research and relate the results of this research to a specific inquiry
develop your ability to translate specialist information into non-specialist language
draft building blocks for the final report
practice APA citation style (or MLA if you are majoring in a humanities field)
Answering a research question involves seeking out and processing information that helps you answer that question. This is true whether you are researching insurance plans or conducting academic research. In developing the Library Research Report, you will seek out scholarly articles relevant to your research question, extracting ideas from them that you will later synthesize into a final report (i.e., the final version of your project) and an answer–however tentative–to your research question.
On its face, the library research report may seem to resemble what is sometimes called an “annotated bibliography.” Please note, however, that your goal in developing this report is not simply to summarize sources. As you write your summaries, you will be producing “building blocks” for the first draft of your Research Project . This means that you should be summarizing only content that is directly relevant to your research question. Your writing should also be clear and accessible to non-specialist readers.
A carefully constructed Library Research Report will significantly lighten your workload when you reach Week 3, since you’ll be able to construct your draft from writing you’ve already completed rather than producing an entirely new document.
Your finished Library Research Report should include:
◻Your name at the top of the document. (You can follow strict APA if you’d like and include a separate title page, but this is not required.)
◻Your research question (at the top of the report)
◻Complete and correct citations for 4-6 scholarly/peer-reviewed journal articles accessed through NU Library databases
◻A 60-120 word paragraph on each source that answers the following questions:
Who stands behind the information? Your entry should identify (quickly and concisely) the background/credentials that connect the article’s author/s to the topic.
Identify a claim (or claims) presented in the article that is relevant to your inquiry. (Remember, your task is not to summarize the entire article, but to summarize the article content that is relevant for your own inquiry. In some cases, of course, the entire article may be directly relevant to your project.)
How is the claim supported? How do the authors back up the claim? (Don’t go nuts here and summarize every detail of the methodology. Instead, strive for the kind of concise, general summary one might find in a news account of recent research findings.)
What is the relevance of the claim for your inquiry? (Sometimes you’ll be able to express the “what” and “so what” at the same time, in which case you shouldn’t try to artificially separate them. Just make sure that your paragraph addresses all of the categories–WHO, WHAT, HOW, and SO WHAT? And remember that your answer to the “so what?” question should point to your own research inquiry.)