Language, Writing and Communication
Choosing a Sub-topic
* Use hybrid tools (encyclopedias and textbooks) to discover information about your general topic
* Summarize information on your topic
* Generate a list of potential sub-topics
Before you start this assignment, please make sure you have read p. 14-42 of; From Research Assignment to Research Plan and understand the difference between Tools, including hybrid and finding tools, and sources.
For this assignment:
1. Double check which general research topic you chose (see "Groups" in D2L).
2. Look through the resources listed in the library course guide and select at least two different hybrid tools (e.g. encyclopedias or textbooks) to look into further. You can consult either print or online editions of these resources, but the two you choose must be different tools, not just different editions of the same encyclopedia/textbook. Also, only one of the resources can be a website (for example, Wikipedia.com, baike.baidu.com, encyclopedia.com). At least one of the resources you consult must be an encyclopedia or textbook about China such as those listed in the library course guide.
3. Find and read about your chosen research topic in at least two of the tools you have selected. The research topic may be listed slightly differently in the tools you consult–look for a topic heading that most closely resembles the topic you signed up for. Take notes.
4. a. Summarize what you have read (150-200 words). For the summary, identify the main ideas presented in the encyclopedia entries about your topic and discuss three or more of the sub-topics or sub-areas that are important to an understanding of the topic. To find the sub-topics, look for smaller headings or sections within the main entry. Summaries must be in your own words! Be careful not to reuse the words or organization of ideas of the encyclopedia entry–make it your own. As you read and summarize keep an eye out for ideas or sub-topics that are particularly interesting to you.
b. After you have summarized, choose one sub-topic that you are interested in and explain why you think researching it will help you better understand the general research topic. (50-100 words).
c. At the bottom of your page you should give citation information for the encyclopedias or textbooks you consulted, including: Name of author/contributor of the entry (if available), title of entry, title of encyclopedia or textbook, publication information, page numbers of the entry, and whether you used a print or online edition of the text.
5. Submit all of number 4 above in one document to the dropbox by classtime on Monday, Sept. 30. Submissions must be double-spaced with a standard font (e.g. Arial or Helvetica) and should be saved in either a .txt or .docx file (other file types may not be supported). They should also include your full name, the name of the assignment as well as the name of your TA.
Excellent (19-20 points)
An assignment deemed Excellent includes all of the elements of the "Good" assignment, but goes above
and beyond what is required. Excellent summaries clearly demonstrate the author’s ability to identify
main ideas and not include irrelevant information. Excellent assignments may include more resources or
more information than is required, but quantity by itself is not an indicator of excellence. Additions of
resources or information must also demonstrate quality, attention to detail and be appropriate to the
Good (16-18 points)
At least two hybrid tools (e.g. encyclopedias and textbooks) are used in the preparation of the assignment,
and at least one is a resource dedicated to information about China and Chinese culture. No more than one
tool is a website. The summary discusses at least three specific pieces of information and indicates how
the information is relevant to a broader understanding of the general topic. In addition, at least three
possible sub-topics are listed and discussed and one sub-topic is clearly identified for further research.
Citation information is complete. Summary, discussions and citations meet required word count and
The book for reference: A Brief History of Chinese Civilization, Conrad Schirokauer