english assignment

I’m trying to study for my English course and I need some help to understand this question.

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This assignment is intended to prepare you for the research you will be required to do for your essays this semester. Becoming an effective researcher and utilizing good research techniques takes practice and becoming familiar with the options available to you. If you’ve never heard of ProQuest, how can you think to use it? But knowing what’s available is only half the challenge. Research can be frustrating when you don’t know how to use the resources available to you, and you end up spending more time figuring out how to research than conducting research.

So, with this in mind …

Complete the following step-by-step assignment.

  1. Choose a topic. Choose a topic that you would like to know more about and that you could see yourself writing a research paper about (i.e., dystopian fiction, Watergate, how to make a rocking chair). As you explore your topic, it may change or become more focused. You will not be writing an essay for this assignment, but you will conduct research as if you were. In your response write down the topic you want explore and why.
  1. Research your topic. You are not trying to support an argument with the research that you conduct — just try to learn more about the topic. Follow your interests. When a new fact or idea about your topic catches your attention, go with it and see where it takes you. As you conduct your research, you must take notes detailing what methods you use (i.e., search engines, databases, books, search terms you enter) and general notes about the successes and failures you have in seeking the information you’re after (i.e., what works for you, what doesn’t, why you think you’re having difficulty). During your research you must use each of the following:
    • Find three visual images (photograph, drawing, artwork, map) that are relevant to your topic by using three different resources like The New York Public Library Digital Gallery, Compfight, Flickr Advanced Search, and Google.
    • Find two videos/films/documentaries relevant to your topic using at least two different resources, such as the Moving Image Archive, Academic Video Online, and YouTube.
    • Find two podcasts relevant to your topic by using two different resources like iTunes Podcasts and Audiosear.ch.
    • Find two blogs relevant to your topic by using two different resources like Meltwater IceRocket, Alltop, and Blog Catalog.
    • Ask a librarian how you might find information about your topic.
  1. Write. Write a two-page paper (typed, MLA formatted) detailing your experience researching your topic, including you responses to the above steps. This is not a report about what you found, but more about the steps you took and the experiences you had. Refer to your notes. Start with your topic and the first search and go from there. Include specific details throughout, such as the database you use and the search terms you try. The point of this is to show you what you know and what you don’t know about conducting research, and to introduce you to the tools available to you.

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