Here are some of the assignments that you'll be completing as part of the Feminist Agenda project. This is not a complete list. I'm focusing on the assignments that require library research.
For each assignment, I've included an excerpt of the assignment description. The assignment description is subject to change; please click the links to view the up-to-date descriptions in Canvas.
Here are the different types of sources that you'll use in your research:
|Primary sources||Secondary sources||Tertiary sources|
|What they are||
|How they help you||They provide evidence to support your statements.||They tell you what other people think about your topic.||They introduce you to new concepts and help you find citable sources -- but are not themselves citable.|
Whether a source is primary, secondary, or tertiary, it might also be either POPULAR or SCHOLARLY:
Scholarly sources are also known as "academic sources." Each stage of the Feminist Agenda project requires a certain number of academic sources and a certain number of non-academic (popular) sources.
This video explains the difference in more detail:
Video credit: Carnegie Vincent Library at Lincoln Memorial University.
Use Quest to search the library's physical collection and the contents of most of the library's electronic databases.
Background information ("tertiary sources")
"Background information" or "tertiary sources" refers to short overviews or summaries of a topic. Wikipedia is an example of background information. For any given topic, the top Google search results are usually background information from random websites. You can also find background information in print encyclopedias in Simpson Library, such as the recommended encyclopedias below.
Background information is really useful! It's meant to be used when you're first starting your research. It helps you familiarize yourself with a new topic. However, do not cite background information. The reason why you shouldn't cite it is that it is not original. It merely repeats and summarizes what other people have said. It's better to get the information straight from the original source.
I recommend these encyclopedias, which you can find in the Reference section on the first floor of Simpson Library:
You can use Quest to search all subjects, or use individual databases to search specific subjects (such as History or Music or English). Out of the 200+ databases that UMW subscribes to, I particularly recommend these two databases:
Books in the library
Use Quest to discover books in the library, and then use call numbers to find those books on the shelves. Here's an explanation of how our call numbers work.
You can check out as many books as you want, and keep each book for five weeks. If you want more time, you can renew your books online.
If you want to just browse the shelves and see what books the library has, I recommend browsing in these areas of the library:
The FSEM guide gives general advice that all first-year students need to know. The Women's and Gender Studies guide gives advice for doing research in Women's and Gender Studies topics.
The Citing Resources guide gives you examples of perfectly-formatted citations. Zotero is a free app that keeps track of the sources you've found, and generates citations without any typing.