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ENGL 122 - Research Assignment: Establishing Authority - Research Essay

This guide will provide tools to assist you in completing your research assignment for ENGL 122 on the brain. It includes concepts highlighted during your library workshop.

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Library Workshop

Establishing Authority 

 

How do you establish authority? 

  1. Define it.
  2. Understand how it relates to your research.
  3. Recognize the different types of authority.
  4. Locate and use information sources that reflect different types of authority in your essay. 

Define it- 

  • Authority is a type of influence or knowledge recognized or exerted within a community. 

Understand how it relates to your research-

  • You need both formal and informal authoritative sources in order to deepen your knowledge of your topic (remember the example from your book). You're going to leverage the authority - the experience and expertise - of your sources to become an authority on the topic yourself. This research assignment is about borrowing and making use of other people's knowledge to enhance your own.

Recognize the different types of authority- 

  • Individual - your own experience, knowledge, insight, interest
    • what do you bring to the topic already?
  • Informal (community or experience-based) - lived day-to-day experiences, passions, insights, and conversations
    • who are the people associated with your topic?
  • Formal (scholarly or expert-based) - published studies, journal articles, scientists, etc.
    • who are the people studying your topic?

Locate and use information sources that reflect the different types of authority in your essay- 

  • Look for informal or experience-based authoritative sources on the open web in discussion forums, Google searches, Twitter and other social platforms, etc. 
  • Look for formal or expert-based authoritative sources in scholarly journals, academic databases, published books, scientific studies, etc. 

Share one information source with the class here! 

ENGL 122 - access your Padlet here! 

ENGL 122A - access your Padlet here! 

 

 

Tips for Searching

Tips for searching on open web platforms-

 

This article has great tips for searching on Google - 6 Google Tricks That Will Turn You Into an Internet Detective

 

Google:

  • Search using phrases or questions that capture the main concepts of your research topic.
  • Apply filters to see what kinds of information is available on your topic.
  • Enter the phrase "discussion forum" after your concept or main search term to locate conversations or communities related to your topic. 

 

Twitter:

  • Search using phrases in quotation marks or hashtags related to your topic e.g. "this is your brain on podcasts" and #podcasting, #podcaster, #podcastlife, #podcastaddict, etc.
  • Apply filters to see what kinds of information is available on your topic.
  • Search for specific people, titles, or events related to your topic. 

Go here to see how to properly cite your sources from the open web!