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ENVR 300/400: Environment and Society - Bloodworth/Ransom: Session Introduction & Assignment

+Library Instruction Goals

This guide should help you:

Form an approach to initiating an assignment.

Identify the use of information sources based on the type of information (i.e. books for background)


Use keywords from a research question or statement to search.


Distinguish differences between popular and scholarly articles.

Explore topics for your paper or project. What motivates you?

Explore the library's information resources.

Start to gather information for an assignment.

Draft & revise with help from librarians & departments in the GAC

+Assignment and research approach

Sometimes, a structured approach to research can help to organize ideas and the way you think about information sources:  

1. Explore topic basics (casual web searching)
2. Background (library catalog: books)
3. Current research (library databases: journal articles)
4. Support your argument (source citation)
5. Drafts & revisions (research librarians & learning commons)

The heart of this class is your research writing project. Your research papers will be developed throughout the semester, and will draw upon work in both the Monday and Wednesday class sessions (though Dr. Bloodworth will take the lead in the research paper assignment). You will turn in a variety of “stepping stone” assignments that will help your explore a topic and craft original,thesis-driven arguments that are validated through careful, well-evidenced reasoning (see MyClasses for more details on the separate elements of your research paper project). This work for your papers will count for 55% of your overall course grade. 


You wil write three interrelated argumentative essays as a means of conducting systemic inquiry into an urgent topic in environmental studies.  Your first essay will define your research project's central problem and will accompany an annotated bibliography of peer reviewed scholarship dealing with this problem.  The second essay will make an argument of qualification about your topic.  The third essay will integrate your arguments and revisions from the first two essays in order to make an argument of policy addressing the problem.  

Citing Sources

ProQuest RefWorks

RefWorks is a "next-generation" citation management tool that can help researchers cite sources in all of styles most commonly used at SU like APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, ACS, AMA, and thousands of others. With this tool, researchers can gather, organize, read, annotate, and cite their research sources. Plus, RefWorks creates an online collaboration space that enables groups of researchers to work together from any location.

Learn all about RefWorks: Video Tutorial Library      Guide to RefWorks