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LCC 3226 - Chaucer - Dr. Wharton : Home

Research guide for Dr. Robin Wharton's Fall 2012 LCC 3226 class - The Life, Death, and Afterlife of Geoffrey Chaucer

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Your Class:

Dr. Robin Wharton's LCC 3226 class: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of Geoffrey Chaucer

Your Research Assignment:

Historical and Literary Analysis - One of the requirements of this assignment is to have you engage with previous literary scholars' interpretations of your text.  In addition, you are to research the historical context of your chosen text.  In preparation, you have been asked to add 10 annotated bibliographic entries to the course's Zotero bibliography.  For the 4th stage of the project you will also need to integrate multimedia into your essay to support and illustrate your argument.   (Please see your course blog's project decription for complete assignment details).  

This guide has been created to help students navigate the Library and its various research and multimedia resources.  If you have questions or would like to set up an appointment, please contact Sherri or visit the Library Service Desk in the Main Library.

Before you Begin Your Research

Read your Text - 
As Dr. Wharton writes in your assignment, "Any literary essay should first begin with the text itself and with your own ideas [. . .]. Before doing anything else, first examine your poem in detail and develop your own original reading."  Then begin your research into the historical context and what other scholars have had to say. 

Create a Search Strategy - Once you have a good feel for the text and your thoughts regarding it, spend some time thinking about the types of resources you will be looking for and the keywords you will use to find what you need. 

Consider looking for information in various formats:

  • Encyclopedias or Dictionaries (General and Subject-Specific, in Print and Online)
  • Scholarly journal articles
  • Books or book chapters
  • Websites

Find these Resources using various search methods:

  • GT Library Catalog & GIL Universal Catalog - search these to find encyclopedias, books, and book chapters on your topic that are available at Georgia Tech.  Non-reference books owned by other universities in the University System of Georgia can also be sent here for you to use.  (You may also find some information using a Google Book search, but be aware that you usually will not be able to access the full content of a chapter).

  • GT Library Databases - use these to search for journal or encyclopedia articles on your topic.  Some databases will also include citation information for books and book chapters, and more.  See the tab Articles/Databases above for more information on what databases may be useful for your research.

  • Websites - use sites mentioned in class or look for other credible websites - make sure you know who is posting the information and whether he/she has credibility and information to back up his/her claims.

Evaluate the Resources and Information found:

Don't blindly accept the information you find! Consider the source of the information and its context.  Ask yourself key questions when evaluating source information:

Credibility - Who wrote or created a particular work? Is he/she an expert in the field of study?  Is the piece from a peer-reviewed journal or a popular magazine? If it is a book, who published it - a university press, a trade press, a vanity press?  If it is a website, who sponsored it?

Currency - How up-to-date is the information? Depending on your topic, you may be able to rely on older resources, or you might need the most current scientific data available.  If you are using a book or article, note when it was written. For a website, look for both when it was created and when it has last been updated.

Reliability - Does the person writing the piece have a possible agenda - how biased is the information presented?  Are references included for information? Do you trust the source? Does the information in this work match what you have read in other sources?

Relevancy - How relevant is the information to your research needs? Is there something else that would fit your needs better?

Adapted from: Taylor, Terry. “Evaluating Information.”  100% Information Literacy Success. New York: Thomson,  2007. 101-39, &
Evaluating Information: Applying the CRAAP Test. Meriam Library, California State University, Chico.  Oct 1, 2008. 






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