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HNR 2510 Richard: Autobiographies: Bibliography

 

Instructions: 'This bibliography represents the start of your research journey for your autoethnography. In the spirit of research as exploration, you’ll search out sources of information that are in some way connected with your aspects of or concepts connected to your story / event, as well as theories of self, writing the self, and our ethnographic research methods. Compile the most promising sources into an MLA bibliography for submission.'

Breaking Down a Topic

'Concept mapping' is a technique you can use for any research assignment, and is a way to visually brainstorm what you know about a given topic. This technique also enables you to make connections between subtopics, and eventually make decisions about which subtopics to pursue in your research--remember, the purpose of your research project is to put forward a particular argument, not brain-dump everything you know about a topic.

Your concept map can be colorful and creative, or simple and geometric. Place your main topic in the middle, and draw outward branches for each subtopic. Ask yourself "what do I know about this topic?" and use your background research to fill in gaps. You can even have sub-sub topics, depending on how detailed you would like to make your map. See the example below as a representation of a geometric concept map, with multiple sub topics and sub-sub topics. 

Secondary Research

Secondary research is the published material about certain areas of your topic. This can include a peer-reviewed journal article, a book analyzing the topic, or even background information sources providing overviews of theory or other related aspects of your research.

Search for a book...

 

Primary Source Material

Primary sources are the materials you have to analyze yourself to pull relevant content for your research, and they can vary by discipline. For example, novels are an important primary source material in Literary Studies, while psychologists might lean on survey data.

Note that primary sources can be repackaged and published in the form of books (a book of letters, for example), so the key determinant of whether something is primary or secondary is the content, not the format.