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ENGL 510 Border Crossings Quintana Wulf

Assignment source guidelines

Finding Sources [process work]: one of the skills we will develop this semester is how to use the Library Databases effectively to find scholarship that speaks to our research questions, that helps us put our ideas in conversation with our field of studies—a crucial skill you will need throughout your graduate studies. To practice doing so, you will be tasked with finding an article/ book chapter/ scholarly text that complements the scholarship under discussion in a given week, presenting it to the class and drawing connections between it and the material under discussion in class that week. You will do so once during the semester, sharing your notes and presentation materials with your peers in MyClasses, creating a collective repository of annotations and ideas (LO2, LO3, LO4).


Essay: the assignment sequence for the semester builds up to the writing of an essay analyzing one of the novels we read this semester. You can choose the novel and your critical approach to it, placing borders and border crossing at the core of your analysis. You can use any and all material we have collectively read for the course in putting together your argument for the essay. You can also use the sources collected by the class as a whole in the course repository. In addition, you will find two or three more sources that are useful to build your argument. The essay will be 12 to 15 pages long (3,000 to 3,750 words).  We will have an individual conference to talk about your ideas for the essay on Week 13; you will send me a tentative outline on Week 14; I will read and comment on an initial draft on Week 15; and the final draft will be due during finals week (Week 17) (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5).

A general research approach

Taking a basic research approach early on may help you to start exploring facts, opinions/arguments/questions, and the relevancy and quality of sources that you discover. Each draft is an opportunity to review and sometimes replace the sources from which you draw support/evidence.

1. Older, established literature criticism and theory  (library catalog: books)
2. Facts and biographical (tertiary sources: literary encyclopedias, almanacs, [auto] biographies, etc)
3. Specific scholarly "conversations" (library databases: journal articles)
4. Citing evidence (source citation: MLA 8, RefWorks)
5. Drafts & revisions (lots of support: research librarians & learning commons)