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ENC1102 Tilney Barbara Mueller: Home

This guide is intended to help students locate and use the best sources for information about your author(s).

About Your Assignment

You have been given an author to research. You need to find biographical information on that person as well as critical comments about your author and/or his work. 

Before you begin, make sure you understand the assignment. You should be able to answer the following questions:

  • When is the assignment due?
  • How many sources do I need?
  • What type of sources do I need? Books, articles, websites?
  • Should my sources be "scholarly"?
  • Can I use the Web or just the library databases?

Students and instructors often confuse the terms "online", "Internet", or "Web" when specifying which sources can be used for a paper. When an instructor says "no Internet sources", that usually means "no Google"sources. Instructors prefer that you use the College's online resources for some or all of your research. 

When in doubt, ask your instructor!

What is Scholarly?

When your instructor asks you to find "scholarly" articles, what does that mean?

Background Information

Background sources help you understand the broader context of your topic. Background material can be gathered from many places. The Internet is often the first stop for students. While a website like Wikipedia may give you some basics, it's not acceptable as an academic source.

One of the best places to find reliable background information is in a subject specific encyclopedia or book. If you don't know much about an author or the time period of a novel, a subject encyclopedia is good place to start.

Developing a Thesis

A good thesis will express the idea or viewpoint that you want to convey to your reader. The body of your paper will support your interpretation with the evidence you have gathered (your sources). If you're still puzzled about how to write a literary paper, read this handout, Literature (Fiction), from UNC at Chapel Hill.

Here are other excellent sites that might be helpful.

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