Weekly Assignment #7

The assignment this week isn’t due until the week after next, as neither the Tuesday class nor the Thursday class will meet next week due to Fall Break.

By midnight of the day before the next class, please do both of the following:

  • Find a print reference work related to your topic by searching the NCSU Libraries catalog. Include a full citation, and annotate this as usual with a paragraph that both describes the source and evaluates its usefulness for you. Include in your description such key information as whether the work is issued serially (e.g., every five years), how it is arranged, and any special features.
  • Find an electronic reference work (not the MLA Bibliography nor Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts) that contains information relevant to your topic by searching the NCSU Libraries website. In your paragraph of description and evaluation, please try to include such key information as its scope (e.g., what it includes), how many records/entries the work includes, how often it is updated, and how far back it goes (e.g., the online MLA Bibliography now dates back to the 1920s, farther back than the print version). Be sure to get this information from within the database itself, as the database descriptions on the Libraries’ website may be out of date.

To find print reference books in the catalog, remember that you can click on the “Genre” facets on the left-hand side to limit to Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and so on. You can also go to the Advanced Search page and leave only the “Reference Works” box checked. To find electronic reference works, you can start with the Browse Subjects Reference Tools tab, but you may well find untold treasures just by searching the catalog or browsing the alphabetical list of databases. If you like, you may also look for a database available at UNC or Duke but not at NCSU.



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11 responses to “Weekly Assignment #7

  1. Sophie Honeycutt

    Kearne, Betsy. “Writers.” Encyclopedia of Communication and Information. 2002. Ed. Jorge Reina Schement. New York: Macmillan Reference USA – Gale Group, 2002.
    As I perused databases alphabetically, I found little until I got to E, and selected the ERIC database, which I recognized from Google Scholar results, but could never see for free. I found at least 5 interesting articles I was able to download no charge. I did not find reference sources for my topic — writing centers ? through the databases. After a few days of trial and error, I attempted Browse Subjects, then followed to Humanities, then Communication and Media, then Reference Tools. On the short list was Encyclopedia of Communication and Information (print). Once here, I clicked on an option given to view as an e-book through NetLibrary, and scored.
    The articles I found specifically helpful were Writers, Literacy, and Instructional Communication. The information about academic institutions was good for general knowledge as well. I found some stuff on the original methods of teaching writing/language. With all the other fun stuff in there, these were not the only articles I read.
    It has 280 entries, some modern and some comprehensive historical ones. With a NetLibrary account, you can use a dictionary, type in some notes, or search another engine while still reading an article on the right of the screen. A tab called ?e-Content details? gives you quick access to citation information anytime. The scope of the encyclopedia is listed in the preface as follows: Careers, Information Science, Interpersonal Communication, Literacy, Institutional Studies, Information Technologies, and Media Effects.
    The interface isn?t so bad, although I?d prefer a book in my hands. The search engine within the encyclopedia did quite well; it highlighted my keywords. The encyclopedia?s See Also listing then helped me further my search if needed. I really got into this source and can see myself using it for other things.
    Lerner, Neal. “Time Warp.” The Writing Center Director’s Resource Book. Eds. Christina Murphy and Byron L. Stay. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, 2006.
    For a print resource, The Writing Center Director?s Resource Book, will do. I found this book at an early stage of research about six weeks ago. It is one of the first books that come up from a general catalog search for keywords, writing centers. Big names in composition theory, Murphy and Stay edited this handbook of sorts and it is one of the most current books on writing centers, having been published just this year. Its subject index, author index, and contributor bios sections are the true reference tools of the book, and the table of contents? details gave an insightful overview of current issues in writing center administration.

  2. April Swarey

    “The Age of the Baroque and Enlightenment 1600-1800.” Arts and Humanities through the Eras. Ed. Ed Bleiberg. Vol. 5. Detroit:Gale, 2005. 150-153.
    Arts and Humanities is a reference work that offers a chronology of world events, separated into the categories of architecture, fashion, literature, religion, theater, visual arts, music and philosophy. Within each category, biography, topics, and contemporary documentation sources are provided. It helps to contextualize a particular work within each time period. I found this by using Reference Tools in literature on the NCSU library site.
    Taylor, Rebecca. “Ye olde London: Human Traffic.” Time Out, 3 May 2006. 24.
    This article was found through the use of the electronic database LexisNexus Academic, which offers biographies of politicians, profiles of countries, polls and surveys, quotations (10,000 of these)and a world almanac. It offers information in the form of headings: Quick News, News, Business, Legal resources, Medicine and References. It goes back for two years and will pull up 125 entries most relevant to your topic at one time. I loved this database because it had the most timely information available on my subject, the eighteenth century. I wanted to know what people were talking about now in the subject outside of academic circles and this gave me some ideas of other topics related to my topic to bring into my research.

  3. Ashley Merrill

    Cullinan, Bernice E. and Diane Goetz Person. “The Continuum encyclopedia of children’s literature.” New York: Continuum, 2003.
    This work includes 1200 author/illustrator and 97 topical entries. The paperback is a newer edition (2005). It is self-described as “a comprehensive single-volume reference source describing the development and current trends in children’s literature throughout the world.” The entries focus on books available in English and deemed “significant” by an advisory panel made up of members of the field. The author/illustrator entries run to around 300 words; the entries on major figures are longer, with birth and death dates, biographical information, a brief critical discussion, citation of major works, notable achievements, and significant awards. Granted, this source would probably only give material widely available elsewhere, for my purposes, but might be useful.
    ABELL (Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature)
    I can’t access this database, but it is available through the UNC website. The database covers from 1920 to the present, is updated annually, and is apparently a major index for English language literatures, linguistics, folklore and cultural studies; it lists monographs, periodical articles, critical editions of literary works, book reviews, collections of essays, and doctoral dissertations (the latter from 1920-1999). The bibliography consists of 78 volumes; a number of items published between 1892 and 1919 has been indexed retrospectively. ABELL is apparently a counterpart to the MLA International Bibliography, but there is surprisingly little overlap between the two, and despite ABELL’s being called an “essential tool for the literary scholar,” NCSU libraries doesn’t subscribe. ABELL contains 860,000 records. ABELL is compiled under the auspices of the Modern Humanities Research Association by an international team of editors, contributors, and academic advisors. New bibliographic records are added to the web version in advance of their appearance in print.

  4. Blake Wilder

    Reference Sources
    Flora, Joseph M. and MacKethan, Lucinda H., ed. The Companion to Southern Literature: Themes, Genres, Places, People, Movements, and Motifs.
    Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2002.
    Ferris, William and Wilson, Charles Reagan, ed. Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989.
    “Faulkner, William.” U*X*L Encyclopedia of World Biography. Ed. Laura B. Tyle. Vol. 4. Detroit: U*X*L, 2003. 701-704. 10 vols. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Thomson Gale. NC State University. 16 Oct. 2006
    The Companion to Southern Literature has entries for major works and authors, but also so entries for more overarching facets that can be useful. It has two table of contents: the first alphabetical and the second arranged by subjects, such as ?Custom, Rituals and Icons,? ?Historical Figures,? ?Literature by Genre,? ?Literature by Period,? ?Literature by Style or Movement,? ?Themes,? and ?Types and Stereotypes? ? among others. I perused two entries to get a sense of the scope.
    I first looked at ?William Faulkner.? It was as excellent a short but reaching treatment as I can imagine. However, I came across the disheartening fact: ?According to recent surveys, over five hundred books have been published about him or his work, and over seven hundred doctoral dissertations on him have been completed? (Flora 253). In light of the seemingly authoritative tone of the entry, I imagine the mere seven works listed on Faulkner and his work are among the best.
    Then for kicks I looked at the entry for ?Memphis, Tennessee,? my hometown. It gave a survey of the treatment in Memphis in Literature from 1829 to 1995, from authors such as Mark Twain, William Faulkner, Richard Wright, Shelby Foote, and others that I had never heard of that took a range of positions from simply positive or negative to complicatedly mix. It made me at once homesick and aware of a place for me if I ever to decide to make my own mark upon the nebulous world of ?Literature.?
    I also took a quick at the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture as well. Both of these reference works are invaluable, and I would own them both if I could afford them. The table of contents for this one is not as well organized, but there is an excellent index.
    Both of these have various local attachments. The former is co-edited by Lucinda MacKethan, who teaches here at NC State. The former is co-edited by William Ferris, who used to teach in Faulkner?s hometown of Oxford but now teaches at UNC.
    The electronic reference I looked at was U*X*L Encyclopedia of World Biography. It gave a general account of Faulkner?s life and works broken down into periods. It also listed various other sources to consult.

  5. Carrie Spruill

    1. Print reference
    Gillespie, Stuart. Shakespeare?s Books: A Dictionary of Shakespeare Sources. London ; New Brunswick, NJ : Athlone, 2001.
    To find this source, I searched for Shakespeare in the library catalog, then clicked on the link to dictionaries. This particular dictionary contains over 200 references to different works Shakespeare consulted in writing plays. The entries consist of authors, books, and genres. Some sources include the Bible and Virgil.Some longer entries boast a discussion of how the author or work cited influenced Shakespeare. I think this would be particularly useful in examining Biblical allusions in his plays. I am hoping that the book might also mention political and government documents or other such works that may shed more insight into the sociopolitical climate and values that influenced Shakespeare’s works.
    2. Electronic source
    Shakespeare Studies. Rosemont Publishing and Printing Corporation.
    This online Shakespeare journal contains entries dating from 1975 to the present. Primarily, the articles deal with the cultural history of Elizabethan England and Shakespeare’s role in it. In perusing the different issues online, I found some articles related to gendered politics as a general influence in Shakespeare’s plays. With some more in depth searching, I believe I might be able to locate some articles directly related to Titus Andronicus. There were also some book reviews for works on politics in the 16th and 17th centuries. These reviews might be helfpul in leading me to different sources I might not have otherwise found.

  6. Lorian Long

    I searched “sexuality in postmodern literature” for my print reference and found the book, “Presence and Desire: essays on gender, sexuality, and performance” to be a part of the series, Critical Perspectives on Women and Gender. None of the essays are focused specifically on Mary Gaitskill, but many of them touch on the subjects I wish to address with my research: desire in postmodern literature; reconstructing sexual identities; sexual psychoanalysis; postmodern feminism.
    Dolan, Jill. Presence and Desire: essays on gender, sexuality, and performance. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993.
    Electronic Source:
    I sort of stumbled upon this by accident on EBSCO: Trauma and Sadomasochistic Narrative: Mary Gaitskill’s “The Dentist”. By: Schapiro, Barbara. Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature, Jun2005, Vol. 38 Issue 2, p37-52, 16p; (AN 17357366)
    Description of “Mosaic”: “Articles and review essays which explore literary works or issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.” It’s published four times a year and its publication began in 1996.
    The Abstract: “The article applies trauma theory and relational psychoanalysis to a close reading of Mary Gaitskill’s short story “The Dentist.” It argues that the sadomasochistic relationship central to this story, and too much of Gaitskill’s fiction, is rooted in trauma and can be illuminated by an understanding of the post-traumatic condition. The story begins with an arresting description of a billboard advertisement for the perfume obsession. The description, along with the narrative commentary, not only encapsulates the psychological drama of the story which follows, but it also offers an astute analysis of the post-traumatic condition. This state, as Judith Herman has discussed, is one of opposing, contradictory responses of intrusion and constriction one in which the victim finds herself caught between floods of intense, overwhelming feeling and arid states of no feeling at all, between irritable, impulsive action and complete inhibition of action. Traumatic events figure into the histories of many of Gaitskill’s characters. The stories themselves, however, focus less on the past trauma than on the current relational binds and dissociated states in which the characters find themselves.”
    The journal may not be consistently helpful, based on its “interdisciplinary perspective,” but this article sounds fascinating, and it was exciting to find something written specifically on Gaitskill.

  7. Anonymous

    First Source:
    Handbook of Writing Research. The table of contents includes 1. The social and historical context for writing research / Martin Nystrand — 2. New directions in writing theory / John R. Hayes — 3. Writing process theory : a functional dynamic approach / Gert Rijlaarsdam and Huub van den Bergh — 4. A sociocultural theory of writing / Paul Prior — 5. The processing demands of writing / Mark Torrance and David Galbraith — 6. The emergence of writing / Liliana Tolchinsky — 7. Implications of advancements in brain research and technology for writing development, writing instruction, and educational evolution / Virginia W. Berninger and William D. Winn —
    8. Cognitive factors in the development of children’s writing / Deborah McCutchen — 9. Children’s understanding of genre and writing development / Carol A. Donovan and Laura B. Smolkin — 10. Motivation and writing / Suzanne Hidi and Pietro Boscolo — 11. Self-efficacy beliefs and motivation in writing development / Frnk Pajares and Gio Valiante — 12. Relations among oral language, reading, and writing development / Timothy Shanahan — 13. Strategy instruction and the teaching of writing : a meta-analysis / Steve Graham — 14. Tenets of sociocultural theory in writing instruction research / Carol Sue Englert, Troy V. Mariage and Kailonnie Dunsmore —
    15. Response to writing / Richard Beach and Tom Friedrich — 16. Writing to learn : how alternative theories of school writing account for student performance / George E. Newell — 17. The effects of new technologies on writing and writing processes / Charles A. MacArthur — 18. “I guess I’d better watch my English” : grammars and the teaching of the English language arts / Michael W. Smith, Julie Cheville and George Hillocks, Jr. — 19. The process approach to writing instruction : examining its effectiveness / Ruie J. Pritchard and Ronald L. Honeycutt — 20. Teaching writing in culturally diverse classrooms / Arnetha F. Ball —
    21. Influence of gender on writing development / Shelley Peterson — 22. Writing instruction for students with learning disabilities / Gary A. Troia — 23. Multilingual writing in preschool through 12th grade : the last 15 years / Jill Fitzgerald — 24. Qualitative research on writing / Katherine Schultz — 25. Statistical analysis for field experiments and longitudinal data in writing research / Robert D. Abbott, Dagmar Amtmann and Jeff Munson — 26. Text structure as a window on the cognition of writing : how text analysis provides insights in writing products and writing processes / Ted J. M. Sanders and Joost Schilperoord —
    27. Applications of computers in assessment and analysis of writing / Mark D. Shermis, Jill Burstein and Claudia Leacock — 28. Writing assessment : a techno-history / Brian Huot and Michael Neal — 29. What does reading have to tell us about writing? : preliminary questions and methodological challenges in examining the neurobiological foundations of writing and writing disabilities / Kenneth R. Pugh, Stephen J. Frost, Rebecca Sandak, Margie Gillis, Dina Moore, Annette R. Jenner and W. Einar Mencl. This source is an excellent reference for anyone interested in rhetoric and composition or freshman composition.
    This is located in the NCSU library.
    MacArthur, Charles A. “Handbook of Writing Research.” New York: Guilford Press, 2006.
    Electronic Source:
    Hargrave’s Communication Dictionary. This source includes source communications terms, definitions, acronyms, charts, equations and related information important to readers in industry, government and academia. Voice and data communications terms are included as well as terminology from peripheral disciplines including optics, computer science, data networks and the Internet. It has 20,041,025 entries, and nearly the same number of updates (20,050,307).
    Hargrave, Frank. “Hargrave’s Communication Dictionary.” New York: IEEE Press, 2001.

  8. Josh Gane

    by the way, that last source without a name is Josh Gane’s (me!)

  9. Daniela Newland

    I was about to despair and list _American National Biography_ as my electronic reference since at least a merciful soul had written 1325 words about Hammett, but I tried one more thing that I didn’t think would help much: I typed “detective reference” into the regular catalogue search and found an electronic book called _Reference Guide to Mystery and Detective Fiction_, by Richard J. Bleiler. It contains multiple bibliographies and also references to encyclopedias and dictionaries on the topic, one of which is even available online. The table of contents lists mystery fiction from every possible corner (who knew there were golf mysteries?). Unfortunately, some of the links provided in the hard-boiled section lead nowhere; they were either moved or are obsolete. Another nice touch is that this work lists electronic resources, some of which I’ve already come across in earlier searcher.
    Bleiler, Richard J. _Reference Guide to Mystery and Detective Fiction_. Englewood, Co.: Libraries Unlimited, 1999.

  10. Kimberly Wine

    Faigley, Lester. Fragments of rationality: postmodernity and the subject of composition. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992.
    A substantive survey of postmodern composition theory by one of the pioneers on the subject. Excellent bibliography for further sources as well. A very informative text for my subject.
    McComiskey, Bruce. Teaching Composition As a Social Process. Logan, Utah Utah State University Press, 2000.
    Very interesting eBook detailing one writing teacher’s experiences as a TA at Illinois State University and his trial and error approach to understanding and applying the divergent theories of the discipline. Very readable electronic exposition on one teacher’s quest for the best method of teaching writing also offering a great survey and analysis of the different theories with some adherence to the chronological developments of competing theories within the discipline.

  11. Carrie Spruill

    Second attempt:
    For my electronic database, I chose ProjectMuse, as it has full text access to over 300 online journals. Muse has been in existence since 1993. Through it, I found reviews of books containing critical essays about Titus Andronicus, so this should be helpful