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English 123 - Library Research Checklist: Who & Why?

Library resources, services, and strategies

Research as Conversation - In the Parlor

Why are we doing this?


Consider this metaphor:    Scholarly research is an "unending conversation."

"Imagine that you enter a [party]. You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had already begun long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before. You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your opponent, depending on the quality of your ally's assistance. However, the discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress." (Burke, 1975, pp.110-111.)

This class will help you join the party, give you the chance to listen for a while, and then give you the chance to put in your oar - add your thoughts to the conversation. 

The Library is the place to begin listening - your review of available resources is the preparation necessary to properly join the conversation.  Look for materials that will be a credit to your contribution - scholarly books and articles will position you for success!


Quote source: 

Authority - Who Do You Listen To?


To Follow Up:

By using JournalFinder, you can discover that the October 2015 issue of "Integrative & Comparative Biology" is available online for free!


And how about places to swim?  Why is this not a good source of information?

Mankato's Minnesota River (

Library Tutorials

library tutoritals

Library Tutorials are available for first-time library users and for refreshing your research skills!

Areas to test yourself include using the library's catalog, JournalFinder, EBSCO databases, and more.

Challenge - 5 questions

Do you know the answers to these five questions?

Get all five correct --- and you win!

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