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Thread: Getting the most out of using sources

  1. #11
    Silver Member Caelia's Avatar
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    Re: Getting the most out of using sources

    Thank you for starting this topic. I wanted to add, though, some schools of academia now suggest nothing later than 10 years for an article. However I have seen exceptions made (like with my Shakespeare paper that hurts for even the erudites to think about), but it really depends on the subject.
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  2. #12
    Bronze Member magusphredde's Avatar
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    Re: Getting the most out of using sources

    I like Shakespeare ... I like reading it in the Olde English ... Get more of a feel for what the author is writing about ...
    I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them ... John Bernard Books


    Indian Chief 'Two Eagles' was asked by a white government official; "You have observed the white man for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his progress, and the damage he's done."

    The Chief nodded in agreement.

    The official continued; "Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?"

    The Chief stared at the government official for over a minute and then calmly replied.. "When white man find land, Indians running it, no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water. Women did all the work, Medicine Man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having sex."

    Then the chief leaned back and smiled; "Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that."




  3. #13
    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Getting the most out of using sources

    [quote author=Caelia link=topic=1215.msg31011#msg31011 date=1296181655]
    Thank you for starting this topic. I wanted to add, though, some schools of academia now suggest nothing later than 10 years for an article. However I have seen exceptions made (like with my Shakespeare paper that hurts for even the erudites to think about), but it really depends on the subject.
    [/quote]

    Good point, Caelia - some disciplines do require more recent research, while others will tolerate older stuff simply because there has been little new research. But whenever possible, it's a good idea to use at least some up-to-date articles.

    [quote author=magusjinx link=topic=1215.msg31031#msg31031 date=1296189324]
    I like Shakespeare ... I like reading it in the Olde English ... Get more of a feel for what the author is writing about ...
    [/quote]

    When I was in school our teachers really dislike 'original' Shakespeare and tried to make us use the Bowdlerised or 'cleaned up' version. 'Methinks he smells of horse piss' didn't go down too well in the class-room.

    Actually, Shakespeare didn't really write in Old English, but Chaucer certainly did. I remember seeing a lovely edition of Chaucer that has one page in the original and the other with a more modern version for comparison.
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    Phantom Turnips never die.... they just get stewed occasionally....

  4. #14
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Getting the most out of using sources

    [quote author=Tylluan Penry link=topic=1215.msg31059#msg31059 date=1296202297]
    When I was in school our teachers really dislike 'original' Shakespeare and tried to make us use the Bowdlerised or 'cleaned up' version. 'Methinks he smells of horse piss' didn't go down too well in the class-room.[/quote]

    My favorite example of Thomas Bowdler's work in cleaning up Shakespeare comes from Hamlet. Two characters are talking about poor Ophelia, and one says "She plays the strumpet in bed." Bowdler changed the nasty word "strumpet" to the innocuous word "trumpet," making Ophelia seem far crazier than she actually was ;D .

    The English teacher's joke about filthy Shakespeare is that the students always miss the really dirty stuff, and laugh at the stuff that isn't actually dirty. When we used to read Romeo and Juliet, the whole beginning dialogue dealing with "cutting of maidenheads" goes past the kids, but they laugh when Lord Capulet says "Bring me my sword, ho!" ...no, he's not calling his wife a whore...

    I was just reading about some Roman emperors - in the section on Nero, the author indicates that much of what we think we know about the terrible Nero is based on some pretty slanderous work by four authors who opposed him - there is some serious revision going on about what kind of guy he actually was.

    It's kind of like basing an appraisal of President Bush' time in office on Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 911, despite the fact that Michael Moore has been so thoroughly discredited that nobody takes him seriously any more.
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  5. #15
    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Getting the most out of using sources

    All very true, de Corbin! One of the most telling things about Nero is the throwaway comment (off the top of my head not certain where it comes from - could be Suetonius???) that for many years after his death people always brought flowers to his grave. I found that rather touching.

    As for Ophelia playing the trumpet in bed..... Bowdler has a lot to answer for!
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    Phantom Turnips never die.... they just get stewed occasionally....

  6. #16
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Getting the most out of using sources

    [quote author=Tylluan Penry link=topic=1215.msg31073#msg31073 date=1296217389]
    All very true, de Corbin! One of the most telling things about Nero is the throwaway comment (off the top of my head not certain where it comes from - could be Suetonius???) that for many years after his death people always brought flowers to his grave. I found that rather touching.[/quote]

    Yes - it seems he was loved by the people, but hated by his opponents in the senate, which suggests that he may have been the subject of bad propaganda.

    However, since wealthy and powerful Romans made a particular point of gaining popular support by financing huge public entertainments and engaging in massive public building projects, it's also possible for a very bad ruler to be very popular.

    The whole thing gets so muddy that it all has to be looked at very carefully before any conclusions are drawn, and then those conclusions have to be reevaluated as new information comes in - which is the whole point of your thread, a point which always needs to be emphasised.

    Good scholarship isn't a sport for sissies or slouches . It's hard work.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

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  7. #17
    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Getting the most out of using sources

    [quote author=B. de Corbin link=topic=1215.msg31085#msg31085 date=1296220248]
    The whole thing gets so muddy that it all has to be looked at very carefully before any conclusions are drawn, and then those conclusions have to be reevaluated as new information comes in - which is the whole point of your thread, a point which always needs to be emphasised.

    Good scholarship isn't a sport for sissies or slouches . It's hard work.

    [/quote]

    You're absolutely right - it IS hard work. And there is very rarely a 'Correct' answer, just a theory that seems feasible in the light of the evidence - which is changing all the time.

    Once we accept that, I think we get more satisfaction from our reading and research.
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    Phantom Turnips never die.... they just get stewed occasionally....

  8. #18
    Bronze Member magusphredde's Avatar
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    Re: Getting the most out of using sources

    [quote author=Tylluan Penry link=topic=1215.msg31086#msg31086 date=1296220945]
    You're absolutely right - it IS hard work. And there is very rarely a 'Correct' answer, just a theory that seems feasible in the light of the evidence - which is changing all the time.

    Once we accept that, I think we get more satisfaction from our reading and research.
    [/quote]Quite true in quite a few aspects of life ... All of life methinks ... You see so many people getting so bent out of shape if someone says that their source is bad or wrong with only minimal exposure to that source and/or other sources ... Such can even be seen (on rare occasions ) here ...
    I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them ... John Bernard Books


    Indian Chief 'Two Eagles' was asked by a white government official; "You have observed the white man for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his progress, and the damage he's done."

    The Chief nodded in agreement.

    The official continued; "Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?"

    The Chief stared at the government official for over a minute and then calmly replied.. "When white man find land, Indians running it, no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water. Women did all the work, Medicine Man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having sex."

    Then the chief leaned back and smiled; "Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that."




  9. #19
    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: Getting the most out of using sources

    One thing I can add as a current college student, at least here in the US is how strict some teacher are getting about what counts as a reliable source. For instance, in a paper that requires 4 sources, on average only one can be online. All of our sources are supposed to come for scholarly works, like journals or books/papers/websites from reliable authors. This means that we have to look into each source deeply before even deciding if it's usable. We need to have an idea or the journal's, editor's, and author's reputation and reliablitly before we even really look into the source information itself. At least, that's been my experience in classes with writing assignments. I usually spend as much time finding scholarly and reliable sources as I do reading the sources and garnering the information from them that I need. Of course, since I started looking more deeply into my sources, my grades have gone up as well.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

    I wondered if he could ever understand that it was a blessing, not a sin, to be graced with more than one love.
    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
    Still, it was a blessing I would never relinquish. Love, genuine love, was always a cause for joy.
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  10. #20
    Sr. Member Gwen's Avatar
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    Re: Getting the most out of using sources

    Great thread!

    I'd like to add a word about using secondary sources. They're good for a number of reasons: giving historical/social/religious context to primary sources; exploring and commenting on the biases and motivations of primary sources (Tylluan, for example, just wrote us some nice secondary-source material on Tacitus); drawing connections among primary sources and discussing their interpretation with other secondary-source authors; etc. I'll have to expand this list later, but in brief it's important to

    -consider the author's agenda. This is always the case! Why is je writing?
    -consider the author's context--historical, social, political, geographical.
    -consider the author's academic context. What intellectual movements is je part of, and what theoretical structures and lenses does je base jer work within? A postcolonial writer is going to interpret something very differently than one who uses Jung as jer primary frame of reference.
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