Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Library Handout for English 1102: English Composition

Today I taught an interesting library workshop in which students had to find peer-reviewed articles about video games and violence. The instructor asked that I show a few of the specific databases where they could find information on their topic. She also wanted me to share some ideas for thinking about keywords and offer some advice for evaluating the research results in the sources they found.

The assignment includes the following scenario: "You are a juror in a civil case where a video game company is being sued. You need to decide if the video company is culpable. Your purpose for this paper is to state your decision and persuade your fellow jurors to vote teh same way as you are." Students must consider the following stakeholders: parents of the child killed, the video game company, parents of the teenagers accused of the killing, and consumers of the video games.

Take a look at the handout; it includes suggested databases, potentially useful keywords, contact information to librarians, and sample searches.  See other library handouts for English 1102.  It does seem like an interesting topic, and I enjoyed doing some of the preliminary research myself.  I never new Arnold Schwarzenegger was involved in legal court cases involving video games and violence.  Nor had I ever heard about Entertainment Merchants Association.  Wow, their site says that the home entertainment industry is a $35 billion dollar industry.  I can believe it.

When talking about evaluation, these were some of the questions I used to invite a discussion:
  • What does a list of references at the end of an article indicate about the article?
  • What does a list of references tell us about the article itself?
  • What kinds of articles include lists of references or a bibliography?
  • What makes an article accurate?  How do we know?
  • When is an article not current?  When is it out of date?
See Mehan's blog post: "Anyone Up for a Bit of the Ultraviolence?"

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