As part of your ongoing research assignment, you will maintain a notebook which combines your research findings with your reflections on what you are learning.  

Required:  a three-ring binder with pockets.  Tabbed dividers.

Page 1:  Cover page.  Include your name, the course number, and your research question, all centered.

Page 2:  Initial reflection.  Describe in some detail why you chose this particular research question.  What do you already know about the general topic?  Why are you personally interested in it?  Does it affect you or someone close to you?  Does it affect your chosen profession?   If you had to answer your research question today, how would you answer it?  And what kind of information are you most excited about finding out?  Length:  at least one full page, double-spaced, with only your name as the header.

Subsequent pages:  one page for every source you use.

  • Start with a full MLA citation for the source.
  • Then, briefly describe the author—you may use Wikipedia to learn about him/her, but the writing must be in your own words. One or two sentences is sufficient.
  • Next, summarize the information contained in the source. Concentrate on what it says.  For example, do not write, “This article talks about the problems immigrants face.”  (Okay, but we still don’t know what those problems are.)  Instead, write “This article points out that immigrants have problems finding safe housing in neighborhoods they can afford.”  Summarize each important point contained in the source.
  • Finally, interact with the source: describe how you see this information fitting in with what you’ve found in other sources.  Does it agree with them?  Contradict them?  Simply provide additional information?  Did this source surprise you in any way?  Raise new questions for you?  Something else?

This notebook is a way for you to keep track of what you’re learning and enable you to “put all the pieces together.”  I will check it on a regular basis throughout the semester.

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