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Anthropology: Anthropology JP Research Quick Guide

Quick Guide for Junior Paper Research

LIBRARY RESEARCH METHODS IN BRIEF
 
  • KEYWORD search to find relevant or interesting sources
  • SORT by most recent DATE first
  • Look for recent SCHOLARLY books and articles
  • Look for SUBJECT terms of interest; click on or search those
  • READ or SKIM abstracts, ToC, introductions, and bibliographies
  • Find relevant sources CITED within sources and read or skim them
  • Look for the scholarly conversation
  • REPEAT for every topic
 
Anthropology Databases
 
Anthropology Research Guide
 
SEARCHING FOR SOURCES
 
Books (Anthropology books are at call# range: GN)
 
Articles and Reviews
 
MANAGING SOURCES
 
USING THE LIBRARY OFF CAMPUS
 
 

Reviewing the Literature

From Shan-Estelle Brown. Writing in Anthropology: a Brief Guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

REVIEWING THE LITERATURE

First Look at the Title and Identify Its Key Words

Review the Abstract

Examine the Structure

Identify the Purpose

Ask the Essential Questions:

  • What is the Question, Controversy, or Problem Driving the Study?
  • Who or What Group was Being Studied
  • How was the Study Executed? What Method was Used? What Kind of Study was Done?
  • What Questions were Addressed or Asked in the Study to Generate Data?
  • What was Found in the Study? What were the Results of the Study? Why did the Scientists They they Found what they Found?
  • How does this study—in its Methods as well as in the Findings it Shares—Relate to other Relevant or Potential Studies?

 

DEVELOPING YOUR ARGUMENT

To move from a series of summaries to an argument, ask yourself the following:

  • What is my specific problem or research question?
  • How does each source relate to it?
  • What type of literature review am I conducting?
  • Am I seeing trends in theory, in methods, within the work of specific researchers, in findings across sources? What can I say about the trend?
  • What unexpected findings or patterns emerged as I read across the literature?
  • Are there contradictions or telling points of disagreement in the literature?
  • Where do I stand on the specific debates under way among the authors of the sources?