Welcome to the course guide for ENG190 Special Topics: Contemporary Multicultural Voices. This guide will support you in your exploration of the topic and in finding additional resources. Feel free at any time to use our Ask Us Anything chat, email, or instant answers service for additional assistance.
Key definitions for writing in the field of English/Literature:
Primary source/material - In literature this refers to the novel, short story, play/drama, poem, or other literary piece(s) being studied. These should always be cited in the bibliography, but do not count as "secondary sources." In addition, first-hand accounts or narratives of the event/issue you are discussing can provide context or evidence for your claim.
Secondary source/material - This primarily refers to literary criticism or scholalry analysis in the field of literature. Most English professors will be looking for literary criticism in the required sources section.
Literary criticism - This is not, as the name implies, merely individuals criticizing works of literature. Rather, literary criticism is articles, books, and book chapters in which scholars in the field argue their own analyses/theses about a primary source or sources.
- Who is the Author (credentials, background, affiliations, etc)? Why do you believe what he or she is arguing or concluding?
- Who is the source’s publisher or what journal does the source come from? What can you find out about the organization?
- What are the major subjects and disciplines that the article engages with?
- What is the argument or thesis of the source?
- Which parts/themes of your RQ does it specifically relate to?
- What does the author use to support their points/arguments/assertions?
- Is documentation or evidence provided for the author’s argument? (Look for in-text references and citations or a bibliography.)
Which source would be MOST appropriate for your research question? How does it further inform your knowledge of the topic or offer evidence to your topic? What does it tell you that you did not know before?