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Step-by-Step Instructions for Researching Authors in Seneca Libraries

Choose an author to research

1:  Start by choosing one of the following authors to research:

Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, Edgar Allan Poe, Alice Munro, Margaret Laurence, Joyce Carol Oates

2:  On the MySeneca homepage, go to “Services for Students” at the upper right—then click on the phrase “Visit the Seneca Libraries website”.

3:  On the Libraries homepage, in the window that says “What would you like to find?”, type in the name of the author you’ve chosen, and the title of his/her short story—all in lowercase, like this:  edgar allan poe the fall of the house of usher.  Then click on the ‘Search’ symbol.

4:  On the next screen, at the upper left side under “Refine Your Results”, click on “Peer-reviewed Journals”.

Peer-reviewed Journals contain articles that are published in respected scholarly journals—the kind that you must use for this assignment.  Do not use ANY articles from “.com” sites.  Peer-reviewed articles are usually written by college or university professor-scholars—sometimes in very complex English, but there are also some in much simpler English.  You’ll want to look mostly at the easier ones.

5: On the next screen, again at the upper left below “Refine Your Results”, click on “Full Text Online”.  This will restrict the list to articles that are available in their full length online (not just in summary form).

6:  The next screen will start a list of the many peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles on Poe’s story.  Among the many listings on that screen, look for one that sounds fairly interesting, and focuses totally on our story (by “totally” I mean an article that doesn’t compare this story to some other writer’s story---like the first listing on the screen, which also involves the Argentinian writer Borges).

However: the second article listed, the one by John Timmerman, is a good one.  Click on that article’s title.

7:  On the next screen, click on the red title of the database “Academic OneFile”.

8:  The next screen will usually ask you to enter your Seneca Username and Password, to gain access to the Library Databases.  If so, enter both of them and hit “Submit”.

9: On the next screen, click on the purple title of the article (“House of mirrors….”)—and the next screen should show you the full text of the article.

10:  Now, for this assignment you have to find five articles from at least three different journals—clicking on the link below each listing that says “Full text available”.

Try to find articles that refer directly to the short story we’re reading.  In most cases that won’t be hard—since these are famous short stories that (in almost all cases) many scholars have written about.  

However, if necessary—as with Joyce Carol Oates or Alice Munro, who have written so many stories that you may not find articles on our specific story—go with articles that talk about the author’s writings as a whole—and look for connections in whatever is said to a theme or themes in our story.

You may find some articles that are too difficult to understand, or just not interesting.  If so, go to another article—but you will eventually need to list 5 articles.  For now, the key—as you’ll see in the next instruction (#11)—is to find one article that’s interesting, and not too hard to read. 

11:  Next: in double-spaced paragraphs totalling 500 words, write about just that one article, the one you found most interesting and/or informative, explaining why you found it so.  Point out some connections between the article and the story we’re reading. To support your points, quote from the story and discuss at least one quoted passage from the scholarly article in your paragraphs.

12:  Then: create a ‘References’ list in correct “APA format”.  Here you’ll list all five scholarly articles you’ve found, including the one you wrote about. Here’s how to do this:

Go back to the Seneca College Libraries homepage and click on the red-boxed link ‘Citing Sources’.  

On the next screen, click on the big red link APA at the upper left, and on the next screen, click on the link at the upper left that says “Citation Examples”.

In the drop-down window under “Citation Examples” click on the blue phrase “Journal Articles”.

On the next screen, for an article like Timmerman’s—that is, written by one author—click on the first link (“Journal Article from a Library Database with DOI – One Author”)—and the next screen will start with “References List Citation”—which uses an article by a writer named “Bailey, N.W.” to show you the exact way to enter an article in your ‘References” list.

Remember that your APA References list of 5 articles must

  • have the one-word heading “References” centered at the top of the page
  • have ALL lines double-spaced
  • indent all lines after the firstfor each of the five source entries (so the first letters of each author’s surname, in alphabetical order, can be easily tracked on the left side of the list)

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