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Why choose the "hard" way?
Scholarly/Academic sources are books, articles, and other types of documentation that have been published by experts in the field. They are generally "peer-reviewed" and published by reputable academic publishers.
Using these types of sources gives you, the author, the best possible information available so that your paper is of the highest quality. It also makes your professors happy!
Reading Academic Resources
Here are some tips and strategies for getting through this sometimes-dense academic material - material that is often outside of your realm of expertise (major) and comfort level.
- Strategy 1: Read the abstract or summary first!
- Strategy 2: Start at the end. Often the concluding sections of an article/book will summarize the author's main points in less jargon-heavy language.
- Strategy 3: Use headings, chapter titles, index listings, etc as a guide to direct your reading. Sometimes, all you need to read is one chapter of a book.
- Strategy 4: Push yourself, but learn to recognize if something is out of your depth. It's OK to move on if something is too technical for your right now.
- Strategy 5: Re-read. Look up words and concepts that you don't know. Take notes NOW. As you are reading, write important ideas down - both the authors' and your own!
- Strategy 6: Think about what questions you might have for the author, and how you might tie this author's work to another's.
Finding Academic/Scholarly Sources
Here are a few links to some sources you might find helpful in analyzing your museum/memorial.
Searching WISE is also useful for more in-depth, scholarly resources. Especially if you aren't quite sure where to go first.