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ENGL 057 - Critical Connections in Reading & Writing - Lupinacci: Getting Started

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Paper 3 (200 points) Peer edit (50 points)

In his keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio, observed, “the American Dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay.” The metaphor of a relay implies that we only run our portion of the race; we receive the baton from someone before us, and then we pass the baton on to someone after us. This can be seen in terms of one generation to the next. In that way, our parents and caregivers play an extraordinarily important role in preparing us for our portion of the race (life). Consider how Rose Mary and Rex Walls prepared their children for adulthood. Consider the obstacles that they faced in achieving the American Dream.

In the paper, you will explore using the library for researching a specific issue which is a part of the novel. For example, you may consider the topic of poverty, homelessness, welfare, alcoholism, or child abuse. All of those issues represent obstacles to overcome in order to achieve the American Dream. You will consider the many sides and factors of this issue and take a stance. 

Consider the thesis statement: In reading the novel The Glass Castle, the audience is confronted with the issue of ---. Through the eyes of the characters, we see that (this action) should occur to encourage more families to… or (this action) should occur to prevent this from happening to other families.

Writing this paper will allow you to both practice writing an argumentative paper with library sources and also write a critical literary analysis as you use the novel to find specific passages to support your thesis.

You must include examples using in-text citations in MLA 8 format from the reading to show your connections. You must also include 2 sources from the library to help provide additional support for your analysis of the reading. The assignment should run 3 pages in length and should contain a works cited page. 

In order to earn points for the peer edit, you must be on time and present for class with a completed draft including your works cited page listing all of your sources.


Andrea Hartranft's picture
Andrea Hartranft
Reference/Instruction Librarian

Harrisburg Campus Library
Science Liaison
(717) 780-2467

Why Not Just Google?

What Are Databases and Why You Need Them Transcript

Hello, I’m Bud, and I’m going to show you why you need library databases for research. By now almost everyone is familiar with searching the web. But have you ever stopped to think of what you’re searching? Google, Bing, and Yahoo only give you free access to what companies and people have made available to the public. This is great if you’re shopping or browsing movie trailers; but is limited when you need to find information for research. Unfortunately, unlimited access to reliable information is restricted because many publishers want to be paid. They won’t give free access to their copyrighted content. On the web, anyone can create a website on any subject whether they are an authority or not. No one is policing the web. This makes it hard to find credible information, which is important when you’re doing research. Also, search engines can give you millions of results for each search and only give you a few options to narrow it down. So it’s hard to scan the results and find the exact information you’re looking for. Now, let me tell you about databases. Databases allow you to find information not freely available on the web. They search thousands of articles and books. You can also find images, charts, and primary sources. Some cover a range of topics. Others are more focused on specific subjects such as literature, education, or controversial issues. You’ll want to choose a database based on your research topic. The articles in databases are from popular magazines, newspapers, trade journals, and encyclopedias. You’ll also find scholarly and peer-reviewed articles. They’ve been chosen because they are written by credible authors such as journalists, researchers, and experts in their fields. Just like when you search the web, you’ll still get lots of results. However, databases give you more control over your results with powerful search tools. Some will suggest additional keywords to use to narrow down your topic. You can further refine your results by limiting to a date range, publication type, and full text. Once you find a worthwhile article, a formatted citation is often available to copy and paste into your paper. Library databases are filled with credible content and give you powerful search tools to find relevant results. When you search a database instead of the web, you will spend less time searching and find better information to support your research.