Otis College of Art and Design logo
Events
  • Otis Books is pleased to publish Tim Erickson’s debut collection of poetry, Egopolis, a textual journey through destruction, resistance, city, and the Ego, from ancient times to the present day. Erickson’s work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Western Humanities Review, and the Salt Anthology of New Writing. He lives in Salt Lake City.

  • Otis Graduate Writing students will read from their works-in-progress.

  • David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and currently teaches at USC. He is the author of the novels Little, The Hiawatha, The Translation of Dr. Apelles, named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, as well as a critical work, Native American Fiction: A User's Manual. In 2012, he published another nonfiction work, Rez Life.

  • Angela Flournoy’s first novel The Turner House was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New Republic, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. Flournoy has taught at the University of Iowa and Trinity Washington University. She lives in Los Angeles.

  • Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2010, the inaugural winner of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award, Choi lives in Brooklyn.

O-Tube

Research Cycle

aka "Research Strategy" and "Search Strategy"

The Research Cycle

 

1. Choose Topic

Think of a few possible topics.
List keywords and subjects.
Do some preliminary research in subject encyclopedias and easily-accessible databases.
Re-evaluate and clarify the topic as necessary.
Should I narrow this topic?
Should I broaden this topic?
Do I have enough information now?
Will I be able to find enough information easily?
Am I willing to spend more time searching?
Should I use a different or new topic?
     

2. Make a Plan

Decide how much information is needed.
Decide what types of information will be needed.
Decide on which indexes or databases you will search.
Make a timeline.
Do I need articles or books or both?
Will I need scholarly or popular resources?
Which specific databases will be best to use?
Will I need to look up background information in encyclopedias?
How much time can I spend researching?
     

3. Begin Researching

Systematically begin to follow the plan you have made.
Find citations or sources.
Evaluate each citation carefully using critical thinking skills. Decide if it's worth actually finding the item.
Is this information appropriate?
Who wrote it? Where did it come from?
Can it be trusted? Is it biased? Accurate? Timely?
Is it easily available? Or will I have to go to other libraries?
Am I still happy with this topic?
Should I start over and get a new topic?
     

4. Find the Material

Evaluate each item carefully. Is there a bibliography or are there footnotes that lead me to other important works on the topic?
Does the index or table of contents (of a book) lead me easily to the appropriate  section?
Is this information at a level that I can read and comprehend?
Does this information seem on target and important to my research?
Is this information going to help me understand my topic and write my paper?
Do I need to read this?
     

5. Read the material.

Make notes.
Remember: this is a process that requires continuing evaluation and revision.
Am I learning what I need to learn about my topic?
Am I still happy with the topic?
Have I found the information that best serves my purposes?