Friday, January 18, 2008

Section II.G: RESEARCH (See also "Academic Honesty")

1. A Case for NOT Using Research for the Literary Journal and the Response Paper. If you read the primary literature (fiction, drama, poetry, and non-fiction), and react to it directly, you’ll probably do at least average work. From my standpoint, I would prefer that you use your own intellectual abilities rather than your relying on an "expert" to do your thinking for you. Why regurgitate when you can offer your own fresh perspective? You’ll be forced to think for yourself for the exams, so you might as well practice with your journal entries. However, if you must use sources, read and commit to memory this section on sources and the passage on academic honesty (Section II.A).

2. Sources for Literary Journals (*see also "Academic Honesty"). If you use any of the types of sources listed below for help in developing any of your journal entries, you must give credit, in the MLA style of documentation, to that source. Failure to give credit for quoting a writer’s exact words and/or paraphrasing someone else’s ideas is a form of plagiarism, and, if you are caught, you will be accountable, and, consequently, penalized accordingly. For directly quoted material, you must use quotation marks; for paraphrased material, don’t use quotation marks, but, in both cases, give in-text credit to your source. Furthermore, you must submit to me a URL link, printout, or photocopy of that source.

a. Print Sources: A print source is defined as any outside work that comes from the print version of a magazine, book, pamphlet, or newspaper; thus not copied from a computer printer. If you use a print source for your journal entries, you must submit photocopies (not originals) of your print sources with complete MLA "works cited" data.

b. On-line Sources: If you choose to use on-line sources (e.g., the internet/the world wide web), CD-ROMS, and data bases, you are required to print out a full copy of your source(s) with complete MLA data and submit with your literary journal. If the submitted source is inappropriate (e.g., chat rooms, "fan club" material, ads–in other words, any dubious source), I reserve the right to return the journal entry, ungraded. You will then have one class period to rewrite and resubmit the journal entry with appropriate source.

NOTE: If you are considering using on-line sources, you might want to print out the source and submit to me before the journal is due. I will then check it over and let you know if it is an acceptable source. Wikipedia and other encyclopedias, designed for middle school children, are not valid sources.

On-line material can offer a great wealth of information, but there are numerous pitfalls: an inordinate amount of garbage flies through cyberspace. Not everything is gospel.

As a writer and researcher, you will eventually need to develop a sense of who and what to trust for your information, but, for now, I can help you. Also, data bases and other electronic sources often offer summaries and abstracts of articles, which are not acceptable sources. You need to read and use the full source, which is often found in print sources.

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