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UNIV 110 TW: Scholarly Inquiry and Research Methods (by QZ): Assignment #1

The Assignment

Assignment is due at the beginning of the next class (September 20).  Send by e-mail attachment to

Use the above assignment template to complete the assignment.  It's a rich text format file that should work in any word processing program. Clicking on the link will download it to your computer.  Find it in your Downloads folder.  If you have any problems, please e-mail me and I'll send you a copy.  You can enter your assignment answers right on this document and then send it to me by e-mail attachment.


Consult the rubrics to the right to determine what you should be doing to achieve excellence in the assignment.


Assignment Instructions:

Do the reading: Research Strategies, Preface, Chapters One to Three, and Appendix One, A.1-A.5 (the appendix is especially helpful.)


A. View the "What is Scholarship?" presentation at (or at if you prefer a version with audio) and answer the following questions:

1. Explain what is meant by the statement: "Authority depends on context." 
2. Why is it important to understand the process by which information was created?
3. What are four "dimensions of value" given to information?
4. In considering Research as Inquiry, what is true research, and what is it not?
5. What is meant by "Scholarship is a Conversation?" Be sure to explain what is meant by the word "conversation."
6. In what ways is searching "strategic?"


B. Begin working on your topic

1. Choose a topic that you will research through this and the following assignments. It is advisable to contact me in advance of next class at so that I can have a look at your topic and make sure that it will work for this course.

2. Develop a working knowledge of your topic by looking it up the following:

  ○  Wikipedia

  ○  A more formal research tool. Find your subject area from the following website and use the books/e-books tab to identify online reference sources (dictionaries, encyclopedias, guides) related to your topic: (do not use full books on the topic, journal articles or websites at this stage; you want a dictionary, encyclopedia or handbook that has a shorter [1-3 pp.] entry on your specific topic).


3. Summarize in a paragraph of 8-10 lines the basic facts about your topic, based on your study of the two reference sources.  Don’t copy. Put the information in your own words.  Don’t pose any research questions at this time or explain how you want to address the topic.  Just summarize your working knowledge.  Which source – Wikipedia or the formal research work – offers you the “best” information, and why?


Please contact me at any time by e-mail if you have a question about the assignment or are running into difficulties.  Please use the assignment template at the top of this box.


Subject Guide


A well done assignment will include the following features:

1. Answers to the initial questions that show understanding and insight into the issues involved.

2. Choice of a topic that shows good likelihood of being researchable

3. Good choice of Wikipedia article and more formal reference source that address the topic well.

4. Summary is clear, covers the topic well, and summarizes rather than arguing a case.

5. Clear choice of which source offers the best information and explanation of why.