Definitional Essay: What is African American Studies?
Note: Please review assignment guidelines posted on Canvas.
Your assignment is to use a minimum of two essays from Part I of A Turbulent Voyage (portions of the text are available on Google Books) and two others from the supplementary/additional reading list to write a definitional essay answering the question, What is African American Studies?
Address issues of the scope and function of African American Studies. Engage the following questions as conceptualizing and organizing points:
Length is 4-5 pages.
Use a minimum of four sources, two that we have read and two from the supplementary/ additional reading list.
The supplementary readings are listed at the end of each section of text. To use these sources for your short paper, you must first identify the citation. Is it a book or article? When a publisher is included, it typically means the source is a book. In the example below, the works by the first three authors are books. The work by Bailey is a journal article as it includes a volume number and pages. Use Primo to find books and journal titles.
The value of using encyclopedias in the beginning stages of the research process:
Encyclopedias come in two varieties: general and subject.
General encyclopedias are good for quickly looking up basic facts about a topic. Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book are all examples of general encyclopedias.
Subject encyclopedias are best to use when you are in the first stages of a college-level research project. Each entry is written by a scholar in the field.
The scholar aims to provide not just the basic facts on a topic, but also a sense of how these facts have been debated or interpreted over time. The sources in the bibliographies are selected specifically as next steps to consult in the research process and typically include a mix of primary and secondary sources.
Type keywords in the search box to find background information about people, events, topics, and more in the Oxford African American Studies Center. This source incluldes the full text of the following reference works: Africana, Encyclopedia of African American History, Black Women in America, African American National Biography, and other key works.
Use the search phrase "black studies"
Note: Limited to 3 simultaneous users
If you are off-campus, use this link.
Use Primo to find resources on your topic at Collins Library and beyond. Request books held by Summit libraries for delivery to Collins Library in about 5 days. Books that are unavailable from Summit libraries can be requested via Interlibrary loan for delivery in about 12 days.
For books on the subject of African American Studies, click the following terms.
When search databases, keep these techniques in mind.
Quotation marks search for an exact phrase.
"African American Studies" finds results with that exact phrase.
Without the quotation marks, you may also get African and American and Studies
Add more words when you want to narrow your search. Use the word AND to connect different concepts.
"African American Studies" and curriculum
Use OR to find related terms.
"African American Studies" or "black studies"
Use an asterisk * to find variant word endings. Be careful not to shorten your word too much, because this can bring back results that are not relevant.
defin* retrieves define, defines, defining, definition, defintional, etc.