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W2 A2

Length: 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 .

• Practice APA citation style (or MLA if you are majoring in a humanities field).

Assignment Introduction:

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 , you will seek out scholarly articles relevant to your research question, extracting ideas from them that you will later synthesize into a final (i.e., the final version of your project) and an answer–however tentative–to your research question.

This Library Research can be seen as a type of “annotated bibliography.” But please note that your goal in developing this is not simply to summarize sources; your purpose here is to focus on finding research that is relevant to your research question. As you write your summaries, you will be producing “building blocks” for the first draft of your Final 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 will significantly lighten your workload when you reach Week Three, when the rough draft of your Final Research Project is due, since you’ll be able to construct your draft from writing you’ve already completed rather than starting from scratch.

Assignment Specifications

Your finished Library Research 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 ); How does online Infidelity affect relationships?

• Complete and correct citations for 4-6 scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles accessed through NU Library databases;

• A paragraph of 60-120 words on each source that answers the following questions:

WHO? 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. (See Lecture 6 in the Week Two Lectures folder) on identifying scholarly sources for guidance and examples: Identifying Sources (Part 2)

WHAT? 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? 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.)

SO WHAT? 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.)

Tip! If you’re having trouble getting started, tackle each of the above questions— Who/What/How/So What? —one at a time. Before you know it, you’ll have written—or at least sketched out–your first paragraph.

Note: Limit your use of direct quotation. Quote only when you need to call attention to key terms or phrases. Use complete sentences, correct spelling and punctuation, etc.

Example: Sample Library Research

Source-selection checklist:

This assignment requires you to engage with specialist sources–specifically, peer reviewed journal articles. If a source you’ve found is a peer-reviewed journal article, you should be able to answer “yes” to all of the questions below:


Does the source read like a scholarly article? (If it sounds more like a news article or a review, it’s probably not a scholarly article.)

CITATIONS/REFERENCES Does the article include in-text citations and end references? Is the Reference list fairly substantial (i.e., more than just a handful of citations)?

CREDENTIALS Is the author’s institutional affiliation noted? (For example, does a university or government email address accompany the byline? Or is there a bio that explains the author’s area/s of expertise?)

PEER-REVIEWED Is the journal listed in Ulrichsweb as peer-reviewed? (For a review of how to use Ulrichsweb, see the Journal Databases Activity. Remember that you search Ulrichsweb by journal title, not by article title.)

Citation help

Feel free to use citation-generator tools such as those found in library databases; just remember to check these computer-generated citations carefully. Here is a short APA reference sheet you may find helpful: http://nu.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=8766101

You’ll notice that APA no longer requires that you identify the database from which you retrieved an article. It’s fine, though, if you want to include this information. (Some instructors still prefer to see this information included.)

If you are having trouble finding peer-reviewed sources relevant to your topic…

• Widen the lens. Remember, a “relevant” source is rarely a source on your exact topic. As noted in the Journal Databases Activity and in Lecture 4 in the Week Two Lectures folder, video lecture on “The myth of the perfect source,” a relevant peer-reviewed source is any source that can help you bring a scholarly perspective to your topic.

• Ask for help from an NU reference librarian: http://library.nu.edu/

• Where appropriate, bring in one or two (1-2) in-depth, high-quality sources that are not peer-reviewed journal articles. For example, your searching may uncover an in-depth piece of investigative ing or a major government that is relevant to your topic. For a review of how to distinguish between a regular news and an in-depth news , see the supplemental practice activity: Do a News Search, located in the guidelines for the Web Search Activity. For each source you include in your Library Research that is not peer-reviewed, take extra care to establish who stands behind the information and why the information can be regarded as reliable.

Grading information Note:

Points will be deducted for deviations from assignment requirements/specifications. Greater deviations will result in greater deductions. Per course policy, scores of 50% and higher are reserved for submissions that attempt to meet assignment requirement/specifications [see below]. ↓