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October 14, 2013

ENG102 Research Assignment – Odyssey III: Locating Periodicals in Databases

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 6, and prior to doing the assignments students are instructed to view the following lesson: Lesson 6.2 Periodicals & Databases

Assignment #6: Odyssey III – Locating Periodicals in Databases   

Instructional Objectives

In this assignment students will:

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

A Little Humor About Using Databases Instead of Google

Odyssey III Steps:

I.  Go to the Academic Databases section of the library website. From the Library Homepage, click on Articles & Databases under the Research tab. Select a database category that relates to your topic. Then select a database. If you’re working from home (off campus), you will need to log in at this point with your eGCC account. There is help available on the login page if you do not know your eGCC account information, and if you need help with your search, you can always click the link to .

After you log in, enter one or more of the subject words you have. This should get you a huge number of citations. Narrow that number by combining the first search with one or more of the topic words you have on your New Words list. You can also use the key words and argument words you wrote down. Play around with these in combinations. When you have a reasonable number of citations, look them over. If you find new key words or topics of interest or arguments, fine, follow your interest to where it leads you, and keep track of these new words.

II. Locate 4 citations. 

Examine the citations you found. Determine whether they are journals (professional) or magazines or newspapers (popular). You need two professional and two popular. If you find a journal, go back to the search screen. Search the journal name. Search in the journal for citations by using the words you have found useful in your search so far. This will help you find more journal articles.


A. The New Word list produced before and during the search process. Add new words to this list.

B. Copy of the bibliography citations for the four articles (4). These will need to be listed using the MLA format.

1. Two journal articles (this is a must)
2. Two magazine or newspaper articles (Do not hand in the full text of four articles- just the citations)

C. On your paper, write why each citation has interest for you and how it might contribute to your argument essay. Be specific. Be sure to identify which article you’re referring to above each paragraph. Write 3-5 sentences for each citation.

1. As always, no fill in the blank, “It is interesting/ useful/informative.”

2. Explain why and be specific.

D. Locate the full text of one of your four citations. Copy the full text or save a copy of it; read it, and paraphrase two small sections (2-3 sentences) of the article. Type out the original sections (two) and label them Original. Then label the paraphrases as Paraphrase in the assignment.

E. Working Bibliography (MLA Style): Add your four periodical sources (citations) to your working bibliography in Bibme. Include a copy of your full working bibliography in this assignment. You should now have a total of 12 sources: 4 periodicals, 2 books + 4 other sources found in the books, 2 web pages.

F. Research Prospectus #3: Write a new research prospectus: write a short description of where you think you will go with your eventual essay. This prospectus should be different from the first two. Focus on your most recent research. Has what you’ve found changed your plan in any way? Are you having difficulty finding sources? Don’t forget your research question. Your prospectus should be evolving. Be sure to title your post: Research Prospectus #3 and submit it in Canvas.

G. Post your assignment and research prospectus here.

Example Assignment #6



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Assignment Odyssey III: Locating Periodicals in Databases by Dr. Alisa Cooper is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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