Use this guide to get started with your research for ENGL 220: Introduction to English Studies
For your upcoming presentation and essay assignment in this class, you'll need to identify and engage with one scholarly secondary source (not literary criticism) on a broad theme connected to the cultural/historical context of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven.
The resources and strategies listed on this course guide are intended to help you get started.
A concept map is:
Use a concept map to:
You can create a concept map with pencil and paper or use one of these free online tools:
Concept mapping is a great strategy to use as you develop a research question. Concept maps are a tool to help you:
Ask yourself: what do I already know about my topic? what am I curious about? what kind of information do I need, and where am I likely to find it?
From a disciplinary perspective, think about what kind(s) of scholars might investigate your topic, the kinds of questions scholars and experts in a particular discipline might ask, how they would ask those questions and what evidence they would use to make their argument. For the assignment especially, you might also ask which perspectives or approaches seem most likely to help you interpret the novel?
Finally, consider what you know about the resources available to you, the types of sources that would be most helpful for you, and where might be most fruitful for you to begin your search. If you're following up on the scholarly conversation around your topic, do you need to look for work by historians? Scientists? Sociologists?
The process is simple: start with the subject of your research question in the center, then:
Do some background research on your topic to help create a concept map. Feel free to consult the Internet, an encyclopedia, course readings, or a librarian to help explore a topic. It may be through this background research that you will stumble upon a gap that you want to explore! Keep revising your map as you learn more about your topic.