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The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

About the Book

  • Based on some idea or theme from The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, write a research-based paper of at least 1500 words, or 4-5 pages, excluding the Works Cited page. This paper MUST follow MLA format in all regards.
  • The topic is up to you, but is should address how some idea or theme in the novel relates to the present day. In other words, this is NOT a book review or literary criticism. This paper is not about the novel; it is inspired by the novel. The essay should include references to the novel and how it is relevant to the topic of the essay. However, you will reference the novel in your final essay.

Themes:

  • Father/Daughter Relationship
  • Poverty
  • Hardships of Mine Workers
  • Neighbor Helping Neighbor
  • Absence of Assistance Programs for the Poor
  • Racism/Prejudice
  • Interracial Relationships
  • Kindness to Neighbors
  • Isolated Environment and Living
  • Survival
  • Hope
  • Literacy
  • Plight of Children
  • Distrust of Authority
  • Legacy of Generational Poverty

General Topics:

  • Poverty today and eating what the land provides
  • Fire Towers and management of Forest Fires today
  • Abilities of animals to predict danger
  • Homeopathic medicine and home remedies
  • Laws to protect people in medical research
  • Coal vs. Clean energy

These, however, are general topics that must be narrowed and focused to create a thesis. For example, a topic turned into a thesis may look like one of these samples: 

  • Even though people in poverty have more food resources than were available in 1936, the recent job losses caused by COVID have made some people resourceful in finding food sources, such as sharing recipes for wild hog, because food is more expensive than ever. 
  • Even though most fire towers are no longer manned by people and are using technology, some fire towers still use older methods because these methods work.
  • Although some people use homeopathic medicines and swear by the benefits of essential oils, herbal medicines are not regulated by the FDA and can be dangerous to use.
  • Even though the abuses of the coal industry to people and the environment are numerous, clean energy faces difficulties in replacing this long-standing fuel source because of government regulations.

Research Topic

At this point, you should be familiar with the topic and are ready to dive in deeper to find answers to your research question and/or resources to support your thesis statement (and the various points in your argument). Before you take the keywords you've been listing, you should be conscious that there are many forms of information. Information found may have different purposes and logic. 

Part of the research process is to identify the type of information that is appropriate for your audience and the topic. As this is an academic project, you are expected to use academic-level of information, or what we call scholarly sources. They are generally books published by university press and articles published in academic and professional journals. They typically go through a rigorous editorial process, known as peer-review. 

Watch the videos embedded in this box for more information about the differences in information, the editorial process for scholarly information, ways to evaluate information, and identifying biases.

The address identifying a specific site on the Internet. In the United States, domain names usually consist of three parts separated by the period (full stop). In the address www.thisuniversity.edu, the first part (www) indicates the protocol or language used in accessing the address, the second part (.thisuniversity) represents the name of the institution or organization hosting the site, and the last part (.edu) is a top level domain code indicating type of entity serving as network host. For the United States, the six basic top level domain codes are:

 

The address identifying a specific site on the Internet. In the United States, domain names usually consist of three parts separated by the period (full stop). In the address www.thisuniversity.edu, the first part (www) indicates the protocol or language used in accessing the address, the second part (.thisuniversity) represents the name of the institution or organization hosting the site, and the last part (.edu) is a top level domain code indicating type of entity serving as network host. For the United States, the six basic top level domain codes are:

 .com   Commercial enterprise
 .edu  Educational institution
 .gov  Government agency
 .mil  Military installation
 .net  Network (generally used by companies directly responsible for the internet's infrastructure)
 .org  Nonprofit organization
 .uk  Example of a country code; from the United Kingdom
 

The chart below are points to consider when evaluating sources of information. Click on the CAPOW document icon to download the handout.

Currency

  • What is the publication date or last date updated?
  • Is the content timely, useful, and valid for your information need?

 

Authorship

 

 

 

  • Who wrote the content?
  • What makes that individual author or organization qualified to write it? What other information about the author is included?
  • Who sponsored the content?

 

Purpose

 

 

  • Is the purpose of the content to inform, to entertain, or to promote a product or service? 
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Does the information seem credible? If so, can you check the information against another resource (i.e. book, journal article, newspaper, etc.) for credibility?

 

Objectivity

 

  • Is content biased?
  • Are opinions balanced or does the author have an agenda?
  • How does the bias influence the information?

 

Writing Style

 

 

 

  • Does the information contain a bibliography, references, or a comprehensive list of sources supporting its theme, topic, or agenda?
  • Is content presented at an appropriate level for an academic research paper?
  • Does the supporting information fit your research need?
  • Is the work complete, or is it a summary of other work?

Resources to Use

Academic Search Complete

  • Why Search Here?
    When you do not know where to start, start here! It's a multi-disciplinary full-text database.
  • What's Included?
    Both scholarly and popular journals dating back to 1887, with the majority full text, on a wide variety of subjects.
  • Getting Articles?
    While most articles are full text some might be citation only, just click on the Get It! icon. If the article is available, it will be delivered to you via email in about two weeks.

Credo Reference: Complete Core Collection

  • Why Search Here?
    The best place for background information to start your research.
  • What's Included?
    Reference material like dictionaries and encyclopedias.

GreenFile

  • Why Search Here?
    Covers all aspects of human impact to the environment, including global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more.
  • What's Included?
    Scholarly, government and general-interest content.
  • Getting Articles?
    While some articles are full text some might be citation only, just click on the Get It! icon. If the article is available, it will be delivered to you via email.

Alt Health Watch

  • Why Search Here?
    Focuses on the different perspectives of complementary, holistic, and integrated approaches to health care and wellness.
  • What's Included?
    International Journals, pamphlets, book excerpts and special reports.
  • Getting Articles?
    While most articles are full text some might be citation only, just click on the Get It! icon. If the article is available, it will be delivered to you via email.

Issues & Controversies

  • Why Search Here?
    Find timely, in-depth articles covering complex, hot-button issues in politics, government, business, society, education, and popular culture.
  • What's Included?
    Includes pro and con arguments, videos, primary documents, and statistics.


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