To get started today, log into a classroom computer and open the MRU Library website https://library.mtroyal.ca/ (username: rllcguest pswd: wahbanfol8)
How to find the ENGL 1101 course guide:
Find a Copy of your assignment
What do you want to learn today
By the end of class, you will be able to:
How to Save this File to Google Drive:
Thinking About Your Topic
Start with a preliminary search. Consider news sources, encyclopedia articles or magazine articles to determine your interests. Revise your question and your search strategy.
Activity #1: Differences between scholarly and non-scholarly sources.
Sort the characteristics into either scholarly or non-scholarly
Quality refers to how trustworthy and reputable your source is.
What is peer-review?
When a source has been peer-reviewed it has undergone the review and scrutiny of a review board of colleagues in the author's field. They evaluate this source as part of the body of research for a particular discipline and make recommendations regarding its publication in a journal, revisions prior to publication, or, in some cases, reject its publication.
Strengths: short, contains background information on a topic, normally a great starting point when you are just learning about a topic
Weaknesses: too short, print encyclopedias are out of date quickly, Wikipedia has reliability issues
Books and Book Chapters
Strengths: Provides an in-depth investigation into a topic
Weaknesses: too long, sometimes hard to tell whether it is scholarly
Scholarly Journal Articles
Strengths: often based on research findings or extensive review, written by experts, reviewed by experts, provides evidence
Weaknesses: Sometimes written using discipline-specific language or terminology, hard to understand,
Media Sources (news, online magazine articles)
Strengths: Good for current information
Weaknesses: Sometimes biased, sometimes written to entertain, often not written by experts
Websites & Social Media
Strengths: Highly accessible, includes government info
Weaknesses: It is hard to assess credibility and reliability...anyone can post online or create a website
What are the best tools for the information that I need?
General Search Tools
Subject Specific Search Tools (Use the subject guides to help identify these)
Background / Reference Search Tools (Use the subject guides to help identify these)
General Searching Tips:
Less is More: Start with one or two words and then add one additional term at a time
Phrase searching: Use "quotation marks" around key ideas made up of multiple words
Truncation: Use an asterisk * to find different endings to your keywords
Use limits: These refine (narrow) your search using different restrictions
You can combine all the above in your search:
Tips for Reading Scholarly Articles*
Check for relevance – is the article useful for what you’re doing? You will likely never find the perfect article that’s exactly on the topic you have in mind – but you will find ones that are close and useful because:
Print out the article –studies show that reading in print is better for comprehension and retention.
Skim to get the general idea – review introduction, headings, conclusion to see if the article will suit your needs
Get comfortable and carve out a little time – reading for depth takes focus and practice, and you’ll probably have to read the article more than once
Read with a pen in your hand – mark up interesting points, points, odd words, circle key concepts
Read the article by having a dialogue with the author – “really?” “prove it!” “are you sure about that?”- constantly question the author(s)
Practice slow reading – mostly we don’t read, we skim - summarize paragraphs as you go, read the article aloud to slow down
Note unfamiliar words and concepts – look them up on your second read through
Make connections as you go – note what the article reminds you of, what thoughts it provokes, how it matches or contradicts your experience – these connections are critical to your understanding of texts.
Draw things out –stats, tables, connections or relationships can make more sense if you diagram them
Consider approaches and limitations– if you started with the same question(s) as the author – how would you approach finding the answers? What’s missing from the article – what questions does it leave you with?
Discuss the article with others – students identified this as a very useful strategy for getting the most from articles
*Adapted by Madelaine Vanderwerff from handouts by J. M Loyer &M. MacMillan