Picking a Topic
Think about what you know on the topics provided by your instructor, especially those that interest you. Look for terms in your notes and readings.
This is before committing to in depth research, but some "survey" research is necessary to be sure that appropriate, accessible, and sufficient resources are available to you. You can do this by searching for a person, organization, or topic in the library catalog or a scholarly database. You can also search the web, but there will be so much returned, it is hard to assess valid resources while wading through masses of links.
Doing this type of simple search reveals the range of primary and secondary materials you could potentially use to write your proposal. The more comprehensive research will come with topic approval.
What Your Topic Means for Your Primary Sources
You have a choice in your topic focus: "Chinese in America" or "Americans in China."
If you choose to research the experiences of Chinese immigrants, your desired primary sources will be materials and documents created by immigrants and those concerned with them. This could be US government officials and agencies, welfare organizations, religious organizations, businessmen, or many other groups and individuals. If you cannot read Chinese, you need to think of a way to address the topic that will rely on materials written in languages you can read. There is little available in translation that counts as primary sources.
If you choose to research the experiences of Americans as tourists, explorers, entrepreneurs, artists, students, military, or missionaries in China, primary materials relevant to your research will generally have been written or created by members of those groups.
As you search for materials in books, the databases, and open web, you are likely to accumulate a large number of sources. How are you going to manage them all?
Maybe you like the retro method of hard copy file cards, but there are more modern means that take advantage of technology.
A free cloud-based app that allows you to snag and store documents and other formats in libraries with tags and notes. Create bibliographies in a number of citation styles. Create an account and your materials are available wherever you have internet access. Fee-based options also available.
Free, does not offer the capabilty to create bibliographies, but can be shared with others.
Group Work Resources
Google Groups if you wish to communicate via online discussion.
Google Documents allows text editing of documents.
Last Update: January 15, 2014 20:54