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October 14, 2013

ENG102 Research Assignment – Odyssey II: Locating Books

Back in January I blogged about the research assignments I use in my ENG102 course. I call these assignments Odyssey assignments to put emphasis on their importance. You can read more about that in the first assignment: Odyssey I. I thought it would be a nice addition to share the assignments too. So if you haven’t done so, revisit the first post and then come back and view the assignments.

We do this assignment in Week 5, and prior to doing the assignments students are instructed to view the following lesson: Lesson 5.2 Documenting Sources Using MLA Format (UHV source)

Assignment #5 – Odyssey II: Locating Books

Instructional Objectives

In this assignment students will:

    1. refine strategies for searching the online card catalog systems,
    2. and practice note taking skills by writing paraphrases and quoting sources

How to Search the Online Library Catalog

A library catalog provides information about the books, periodicals, videos, databases, and other materials owned by a library. In the past, library catalogs were kept on cards in wooden drawers. Today, it is common for the records to be kept online, allowing you to search them by computer. Regardless of the form of access, the function is the same: to describe the materials owned by the library so that you can locate them by author, title, or subject. Read the online presentation: How to Search the Online Library Catalog.

Locating Books

Successful research depends on creating and using an appropriate and useful vocabulary. You will run into many new words and ideas about your subject during your research. Add these words to your research list. Label them New Words. List at least five new words. The card catalog should give you strong access to our collection if you use the vocabulary you developed in the previous odyssey creatively in the subject, keyword, and even author fields. You may use the school library or a local public library, but you should visit a library for this assignment. Visit the school library site:

I.  Find two (2) books that relate to your topic. Be creative: the entire book may not relate, but you may find material within the book that will. Titles can deceive. Always look at the full record for a book, or get the book and browse the table of contents and the index for your specific interest.

II.  Use the index or table of contents in each book to locate material of interest to you. List those sections (at least two) by title and length of section on your paper with the book title on the top. Don’t list too many; you have to summarize and paraphrase each section.

III.  Summarize what you have learned from the chosen sections from the first book, and paraphrase 2 small sections from chosen material from the second book. Indicate on your paper whether you are summarizing or paraphrasing. Be sure to type out the original for paraphrases on your assignment.

IV.  Read your summaries and paraphrases that you wrote. Now write about how each summary and paraphrase relates to your topic. Do each section separately. Discuss briefly how each piece of material (summaries and paraphrases) influences your thinking about your topic and how you can possibly use it in your final documented essay. Be specific here.

V.  Check the bibliography, Works Cited page, or footnotes in each book and find titles (sources) that you can relate to your topic. List two of these sources from each book: four in all. If your book doesn’t have any, then find a book that does. List all four of these new sources in your assignment and in your working bibliography.

VI.  Record the full bibliography information from the two books found using MLA format. Add these sources to your Bibme project. Copy and paste your summaries in the Annotation area for the book. It might be a good idea to put the call# in this section of Bibme as well, just in case you need to quickly view the book again. Copy a complete list of your working bibliography and post it in this assignment. Label it Working Bibliography. You should have 8 sources total (2 web/6 books). Remember, you only need to post your working bib, not an annotated bibliography.

How-to Do Assn. 5 Video

Example Assignment #5


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Assignment Odyssey II: Locating Books by Dr. Alisa Cooper is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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