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Journaling and Analysis

Course Diary
The diary is a course journal that will chronicle information seeking-related course activities throughout the semester.

Content: The diary should be used to note all sources used, including those that were not useful and those that were useful; as well as specific terms searched, dead-ends, serendipitous finds, and other means used in fulfilling the assignments of the course. Your notes should be complete enough to enable someone to retrace your search. To be successful and useful, this notebook should be used each time you do your research to ensure accuracy and completeness.

Format: Any notebook or binder in which the pages will stay intact may be used. You must present your writings in a legible manner. You may also maintain an electronic diary as a WORD document or an html file.

Date due: Submit your course diary when you take your final exam or submit your final paper. [If you maintained an electronic diary, send a copy to the appropriate subject librarian at Howard University.] The diary may form the basis for a few of the exam questions, or may assist you in the discussion of your research methodology.

Analysis of Search Process and Results: Critique of Information Sources

The review of information sources consulted is your opportunity to describe your research process. The end result will be a bibliography of pertinent information sources. A log book or diary will be a valuable resource for saving information for this section.

Provide a step-by-step account of your search process.
Analyze your steps.
Critique your procedure as well as the results.
Indicate what was good or bad about your search and explain why.

Include answers to the following questions:

  • How did you structure your library research?
  • What did you search first, and where did it lead?
  • What specific sources did you use and how useful were they?
  • What were the major issues discussed in the sources you consulted?
  • What did you discover about how scholars in this discipline or field communicate?
  • Is there a major scholar or a specific institution critical to your research?
  • Is your subject characterized by an active research front?    

Only the sections that analyze research findings will be considered for your grade. This analysis should be four or five pages long in order to contribute to your final grade.

Sample Tools from Other Universities

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