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Advanced Writing: Social Sciences

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Week 03: Descriptive Writing:
Incident Report

Assignments for the Week

Day 05 -- Tuesday 05 February 2002


  1. "Orientation to social science research and data gathering at the UMD Library."

    Class will be in Library 115, one of the Library Teaching Labs. [map of the LIBRARY FIRST FLOOR]

    Kathryn Fuller, or another professional library staff member, will discuss UMD library's services and resources. She has prepared and will review the following information:

    1. Go to the UMD Library's Electronic Resources WebPage and set your browser's bookmark to the Electronic Resources page

    2. "Looking for books, reference works, government documents, videos, etc."

      1. Library Catalogue (UMD)
      2. Other Library Catalogues
      3. Electronic Resources
      4. MINITEX Interlibrary Loan Service
      5. WorldCat
      6. PALS (MnSCU)
      7. MNCAT (U of M Twin Cities)
      8. MnLINKs

    3. "Looking for periodical articles"

      1. Start with general subject electronic indexes
        1. Expanded Academic Index (InfoTrac)
          • keyword, subject searching
          • locate scholarly publications by checking "refereed"
        2. WilsonWeb (Wilson Select)
          • locate scholarly publications by checking "peer review"
        3. EBSCO Academic Elite [coming soon]
        4. Full-text databases -- general subjects
          1. Project Muse -- select full-text databases in humanities and social science
          2. Science Direct (Elsevier ) -- small number of social sciences periodicals within a large database of full-text science journals
          3. JSTOR -- several social sciences periodicals but all more than five years old

      2. Next go to subject-special indexes
        1. Indexes and Databases

    4. "Looking for news / current information"

      1. LEXIS-NEXIS (includes interview transcripts)
      2. News Sources
        1. Minnesota Newspapers
        2. U.S. Newspapers
        3. International Newspapers
        4. Indexes
        5. Radio / TV / Internet

    5. "Looking for statistics"

      1. Census 2000
        1. American FactFinder
        2. Other products on EDD
      2. Statistical Universe -- an index to government, internationsl, and some private sector statistical publications; some full text
      3. Statistical Resources Page

    6. "Looking for government information"

      1. Government Documents Resources
      2. Google Uncle Sam

    7. "Looking for web resources"

      1. UMD Search Engine Page -- for best results use "advanced" feature
        1. Google -- for government information try Google (Uncle Sam)
        2. Excite (example)
        3. Metacrawler (example)
        4. FirstGov
      2. Electronic Reference Collection
      3. eBooks
      4. Special Collections Information

    8. Indexes / Databases / Pathfinders for Selected Subjects

      1. Indexes and Databases
      2. Subject Bibliographies and Pathfinders


    You should also know how to search for, find, and access other materials from sources such as Justice Information Center, , , PsychLit (Psychology Abstracts), Social Work Abstracts, Web of Science (citation indices), Books in Print, Encyclopedia Britanica, Government Info. Resources, indexes such as the Social Science Index and the Biography Index, and abstracts such as Psychological Abstracts, the microform (microfiche/microfilm) resources, the periodical holdings list, and resources such as Annual Review of Anthropology, the Social Sciences Citation Index, and handbooks such as the Handbook of Middle American Indians.

  2. Continue thinking about your interview for Project #2, and about setting up an appointment withthe person(s) you want to interview. . Project #2 requires that you prepare for, conduct, and report on an interview with a social science professional practicing in your field. (Do more detailed planning for that project.) If you haven't yet done so:
    • Make a list of 3-5 kinds of positions held by people in your field
    • Decide what you want to know about those positions
    • Make a list of people who might be interviewed. Interview a professional who works off campus.

  1. Make arrangements to interview a person in your field. Select an interviewee from off campus. Contact potential interviewees and explain the purpose of the interview. Arrange for an interview time of about an hour. Arrange place, date, and time of interview. If possible, arrange to conduct the interview between class Days 07 and 08. Schedule that NOW!

    • Conduct your interview sometime after the first half of Week 04

Day 06 -- Thursday 07 February 2002
WORD OF THE DAY: From Merriam-Webster

Old Business / Announcements:
  • Information from the Library session on Tuesday are listed above for Day 05


  1. Descriptive Incident Report due by tomorrow afternoon

  2. Discussion and peer review of the writing assignment

    • Review of Ch. 4, "Revising and Editing"
      • >> Useful Lists and Guidelines
        • >> Reviewing a Draft (pp. 52 - 53 in text: "Reviwing a Draft")

        • >>"Next" to: Useful Lists "An editing inventory" (p. 65 in text:"An editing inventory")
          • Start making your own personal inventory with today's work

    • Review of Ch. 6 Paragraph Editing Tips (p. 103 in text: "Editing the Paragraphs in Your Writing")

    • In-class work on revising and editing of descriptive incident report
  1. Time Permitting: Re-view-ing of the video seen on Day 02

  2. Time Permitting: Pre-view of a few "Re-vising Slides" from Week 05

  3. When you are all done with your descriptive paper sit down and for 20 - 30 minutes try to interpret and analyze the video (i.e., interpret the video, not Part 1 of your paper).
    • Keep this material separate from your descriptions
    • Label this section something like "Part 2: Interpretation/Analysis (Draft #4)"
    • This section may be handwritten and simply attached to your descriptive paper

  4. Later on you might like to see what reviewers and others have to say about the film:
  5. Due today or tomorrow: The Descriptive Incident Report on the video seen in class and your freewritten analysis of the video
    • See note on "Handing in Materials."
    • When you get your paper back keep track of revisions and suggestions for revision to help you improve your writing.

  6. Review of assigned readings

  7. Start working on your interview for Project #2, and set up an appointment, if you haven't already done so. Project #2 requires that you prepare for, conduct, and report on an interview with a social science professional practicing in your field.

    • Start planning
    • Arrange and schedule your interview(s)
      • Conduct your interview after the first half of Week 04
    • Start background research and reading

Next Week

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