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Assignment | Pre-Gothic Humanities Presentation (Truax): Find Your Research

HUMA 1301 | Prof. K. Truax (Spring 2021)

What Answers Do You Seek?

3 and 4. Collecting information and considering all pertinent factors - intention and craft - Evaluating the work in the proper context - historical and artistic.

Start By Exploring the Basics

Before you start getting into meaning (and to help ease you into context), get to know some background information about the artist/creator, the stylistic movement, the time period, the country, and so on.

When was this work created? What might have influenced its creation in the writer's life or the world at large? Who was the creator? What should we know about those tools? Does this creation fit into a formal category? What do you need to know to understand this work? What context do you need to know to understand the value of this work?

Your searches with these types of sources will be simple: Greece, flying buttress, jewelry, Etruria, hieroglyph, Lower Kingdom, Maya, Late Middle Ages, weaving, loom, lathe, sculpture, frame narrative...

Go Big: Bigger Picture, Bigger Connections, Bigger Meaning

What might have been the creator's intent? Is this work similar to or different from the creator's other work? Does the work have meaning beyond its appearance? How well does the creator use the tools? Does this creation fit into a formal category? How well does it fit or intentionally break those rules? What do you need to know to understand this work? What context do you need to know to understand the value of this work?

You can start with simple searches here, but these resources really shine when you take advantage of the Advanced Search tool to get more complex. E.g. not just searching Japan or Buddhism but: Japan AND Nara period AND Buddhism -- you'll get fewer results, because there's more criteria they have to fit. In this case, you'd get articles about Buddhism in the Nara period of ancient/medieval Japan.

E-Book Collections

Why are these listed twice? Because books are just a format for info to be published. Some books will be more introductory, while others are more scholarly. Some might even do both! (The advantage of having a few hundred pages to work with.)

Even More Databases:

Consider which disciplines apply to your specific topic when choosing your databases.

DatabasesResearch Databases (Main Page)

Databases (A-Z List)

Accessing the Databases

Access online library materials through the library databases!

Student ID BadgeTo access the databases locked icon (same icon that displays by the LSC-limited access resources) from off-campus, you will be prompted to enter your 14-digit library barcode.

Don't have one yet? Request a barcode number online.

What's a Database?

illustration of a question mark on fire (burning question)Psst -- what's a database?

In its most basic sense, a databasePadlock icon - LSC library barcode code needed for access is just a selection of information designed for you to search and retrieve stuff from it. Amazon is a database you're probably familiar with: it's limited (only contains things you can buy through them) and retrievable (you can search and filter your results to find what you're looking for).

The library databases contain reputable, reliable sources of information to support researchers like you! This means everything from digital encyclopedias (like Credo), e-books, scholarly journal articles, magazine and newspaper articles, streaming videos, statistics, and more.