Here is a condensed summary of your research paper assignment. For a full description of the assignment, please see the course syllabus.
Research Paper (45% worth of final grade): Students will write a 6-page final paper (minimum length of 6 pages, you can write up to 2 more pages if you want), double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, 1-inch margin. You can choose any single topic, or a cross-cultural or cross-time comparison of artworks. The final paper has several stages:
Use Quest to search the library's physical collection and the contents of most of the library's electronic databases.
Encyclopedias provide short overviews or summaries of a topic. Simpson Library has a large collection of print encyclopedias in the Reference section on the first floor. These encyclopedias, unlike Wikipedia, are written and edited by experts.
Encyclopedias are designed to be used when you're first starting your research. They help you familiarize yourself with a new topic. However, do not cite encyclopedias. The reason why you shouldn't cite them is that they are not original. They merely repeat and summarize what other people have said. It's better to get the information straight from the original source (which will probably be cited at the end of the encyclopedia article).
Simpson Library has lots of architecture encyclopedias. I particularly recommend these:
You can use Quest to search all subjects, or use individual databases to search specific subjects (such as Art). Out of the 200+ databases that UMW subscribes to, these are the most useful databases for this class:
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.
Books about architecture are shelved under the letters NA on the second floor.
Advice and recommendations for FSEMs in general, and for Art & Art History research.
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.