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HON 4960 Metaliteracy & Research for Modern Scholars: Assignments

Intersession Evaluation Rubric & Grading Scale

Students will be graded on several aspects: class participation and evidence of completing assigned readings (15%); written class assignments (40%); one essay-type midterm examinations aimed at questions on the changing nature of information (20%); and a project to prepare an annotated bibliography on a topic of their choosing (20%) and presentation on the research process used to prepare the bibliography (5%) This bibliography could be the first step in preparing your honors thesis, or it could be on any topic of your choosing that crosses interdisciplinary research lines.

Graded work Points
Annotated Bibliography 40
Presentation on Research Process 10
Midterm 1 40
(Four 10 pt. essays)
Homework Assignments 70
(Seven 10 pt. assignments)
Class Participation & Attendance 40
(see syllabus regarding absences)
Total:  200 Points

A standard scale will be applied to final grades (>93% A, 90-93%, A-, etc.)

Class Presentation

One important part of the research process is the sharing of personal knowledge with a wider group.  Sharing your knowledge and experience can increase the amount of information available to a research community and create not just knowledge but wisdom (the ability to apply knowledge to craft better outcomes.)  In this presentation, you will be presenting your personal experience with the research process, reflecting back over the semester and interpreting your experience of information discovery in your discipline in light of some of the issues that we've talked about.

Your presentation should be between 8-10 minutes in length, so you will not be able to include everything.   Some areas you may wish discuss are:

  • Major resources, persons, or seminal works encountered during the process
  • How the conduct of research or the sharing of information is changing in your discipline
  • What obstacles did you encounter (issues related to access, availability, unique resources/programs/applications, language and interpretation, ethics, etc.)
  • Examples of specific resources in your area of research you needed to master to continue your pursuit
  • Significant moments during the research process when you felt enthusiastic or frustrated
  • Examples of exceptional discoveries and/or disappointing endeavors
  • Implications for future research
  • How your research focus changed (if it did) throughout the semester

Annotated Bibliography

A basic element of most forms of printed scholarly communication is the literature review, which is an attempt to identify and contextualize the previously produced information that bears upon your research topic.  The compilation of an annotated bibliography can be an end-product itself, or an important precursor to the literature review.  On your cover page for the bibliography, please include the following:  Your Name; an abstract, research question, or thesis statement to identify your topic; and the citation style you will be using.  Each entry in your annotated bibliography should contain both a full and accurate citation and an informative and analytical annotation.  You should organize your bibliography alphabetically by author's last name, but you may also choose to group entries into topics for ease of preparing a literature review.

Your Annotated Bibliography will be evaluated on how well you have summarized, evaluated, and critically reflected upon the information resources that pertain to your discipline. Your annotations should contain accurate citations, be clearly communicated, and comprise an extensive list of major works and resources that demonstrate that you have 1) a comprehensive understanding of your discipline’s information resources and 2) devoted a substantial amount of time in your investigation.

Research Topic Revision (Intersession)

Please use your thread to post your research topic as either an abstract or research question. See December 18th readings. Additionally, please comment on at least two other research topics on what you think is clear or unclear and if you believe the topic is too broad or too narrow.

Then, using the feedback you recieived from your peers in your discussion board thread and your own further reflection about what makes a good research question, rewrite your research question. Include a short description of why you made the changes  you did, any response to your peers' comments, questions to follow up on, etc.

Primary Sources / Carl Joseph

Primary sources are the 'raw data' of research.  In order to transform this data in knowledge, it must be synthesized and not merely summarized.  Read the Carl Joseph documents copied from the collections of the University Archives.   Based on the documents, write a 2-3 page biography of Carl Joseph.  Include as much information as you are able to ascertain based upon the documents you have read.

Ethics Case Study (Intersession)

Read over your assigned ethics case study. With your partner, write a one-page paper discussing the ethical issues at stake in the situation and decide on ethical courses of action that could be taken to resolve the issues.  Discuss as well how the situation could possibly have been avoided in the first place.

All members of the group will turn in the same response and receive the same grade for this assignment, so creating drafts and peer-editing are encouraged!

Open Access & Traditional Journals

Find two journals in your research area that you could publish in: one of which is published using an open access model, one of which is using a more traditional subscription-based model.  For each journal give:

  • The journal's title
  • A link to the journal's web page
  • The cost of an annual subscription (for an individual or institution/library) and/or the cost of submitting an article for publication (sometimes called an Article Processing Charge)
  • The journal's Impact Factor, if available

Digital Divides Presentations (Intersession)

Read the assigned readings on your aspect of the demographics of information inequity and post a summary to the discussion board thread on your topic.  This summary should be a MINIMUM of 1000 words.  Then, after all threads have their summaries, read your classmates' threads and post intersections you see between your 'digital divide' and theres:  do they have a common cause?  a common solution?  does one divide tend to co-occur with another, and why?

Media Assignment

Find 3-4 different articles or broadcasts on the same topic or event from each of the following types of media

  • a newspaper,
  • a television or radio broadcast news,
  • a blog not associated with a mainstream media outlet.
  • an international news source (this item can count as one of the above media types).

Turn in copies of all articles or link to video.  Analyze and contrast the news reports in terms of how they reported on or reacted to the event, if they took a biased or slanted approach, and your judgments of their credibility.  Back up your analysis with quotations from the sources.

Citations Assignment

Scholarship does not exist in a vacuum, but is a conversation carried out between researchers, sometimes over the course of many years.  Cited references in scholarly communication are a means of tracing this conversation and linking together thoughts on a particular subject.  This assignment will allow you to analyse how you might use your current research as a starting point for further research forward or backward in this chain.

Using the materials (books, journal articles, etc.) that you have collected to date, do both of the following

  • find one article that you would like to follow up on to see if it was cited elsewhere.  Why is this article important to you to follow up on?  Has it been cited since publication?  If so, how did the citing authors use the original work?  If not, why do you think it hasn't been cited?
  • find a reference in the reference list or bibliography of one of your materials that you would like to follow up on.  Why do you want to trace this citation back?  What new information will it bring to your research?

Subject Guide

Subject Guide

Thomas Atwood's picture
Thomas Atwood
Contact:
Associate Professor, Coordinator of Information Literacy & Library Instruction

The University of Toledo

2801 W. Bancroft

Toledo, OH 43606-3390

Carlson Library MS# 509

419.530.2833