Biblioteca : Latin American and Iberian Resources at Georgetown

Entries from April 2016

Style!

April 19, 2016 · Leave a Comment

The other day at the reference desk, a student asked about how to cite images that she found online, but originally appeared in an early 20th-century British newspaper. Many times the citations and bibliography can be just as confounding as writing the paper itself! As the semester starts to wind down, I thought I’d highlight a few of them and provide some tips to make things easier.

There are several different style guides, the chief ones being Chicago, Turabian, MLA (Modern Language Assocation), APA (American Psychological Assocation), AMA (American Medical Assocation), CSE (Council of Science Editors), and ACS (American Chemical Society.)

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Why are there so many different styles? Basically each style highlights a different aspect of a particular bibliographical source, depending on the field. Science, for example, tends to focus more on journal articles instead of monographs, which is more common in the humanities, and its citation style tends to focus on the article itself, and not the authors.  Science articles often have many coauthors, hence they are abbreviated to make the entry shorter and more concise.

Humanities sources tend to be written by a single person (although I think this may be starting to change, but that’s a topic for another post.) Check out some examples of MLA style here, and you’ll quickly see it is a bit less concise than CSE style, and both the authors/contributors and the work are generally given equal emphasis.

Being exact with citation and bibliographical style is important because it was what lends your work its veracity. A poorly constructed citation entry will make the reader think you did not actually consult the source, or, at a minimum, make it very difficult for the reader to find. This is the key idea while writing these; the reader should be able to find the source given the information in the citation or entry.

At Lauinger we do have a few tools to you help you sort through the different styles (you can navigate to the link page from the Research link at the top, then click on Citations Tools.) Most citations/entries are quite straightforward, but you may need to piece together different kinds of entries for something like the situation I mentioned at the start of this post.

Feel free to contact any librarian for any help you may need for this. I actually love making bibliographies, they’re kind of like putting together a little skeleton for your paper…but I guess that’s one reason why I became a librarian! Have a good week and thanks for reading.

Categories: research help · resources
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Finishing up the semester; broader resources for literary studies

April 4, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Greetings from Lauinger. Yes, my posts are becoming more infrequent! But as the semester winds down, I plan on writing at least a short entry every Monday to help you get through these final weeks.

If you are a student, feel free to make an appointment with you to help with your final papers or projects. Or if you are an advanced graduate student or faculty, I’d also be happy to help with your long-term research projects that you will focusing on over the summer. And, if you think you need to “just get started,” and don’t necessarily need an appointment at this time, please stop by the reference desk (to the right as you enter the main floor of Lau) to get some good starting points. My e-mail is mrs249 [at] georgetown[dot]edu.

Today I will focus on non-MLA International resources for literature and cultural studies. I have nothing against MLA whatsoever, and of course I strongly encourage it as first stopping point in literary studies, but I do want to explore beyond the field’s “go-to” database, if only to round out your options. By no means do I claim this list to be exhaustive (no such thing can exist!), but rather some ideas for supplementary works that may be a great use to your research.

If you’re focusing on literature from Latin America, I recommend Handbook for Latin American Studies (HLAS) Online and Hispanic American Periodical Index (HAPI) Online . Although they have similar names, the two resources are quite different. HLAS is an index published by the Library of Congress, and contains primarily monographic (book) resources. HAPI is from UCLA and is an index of journal articles of journals published primarily in Latin America. The advantage to both is that their contents have been reviewed and vetted to be reliable sources of scholarly research, or at least of general cultural interest. I did a search for Arenas, Reinaldo, and got many useful hits in both indexes.

I also recommend the Literature Resource Center . This is an online resource that serves as a great introduction for many writers and literary movements. However, I also recommend it for book reviews, multimedia works, and primary resource materials. You can limit it by these various categories on the right side. I found a sound file of a review of the English translation of Javier Marías’s Los enamoramientos that originally appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air!

Finally, I also recommend looking into related databases, especially if your topic is more on the theoretical or historical side. For example, if you’re interested in theoretical approaches to sexuality in literature, try looking at Philosopher’s Index; I used terms sexuality and culture and retrieved some excellent articles. For historical and cultural contexts, try Historical Abstracts, History Compass, or even art databases such as ARTstor or ArtBibliographies Modern.

I hope these suggestions help you think a bit more broadly about your topic, and they may even help you stumble across something new that changes what you think your research project. More next week!

Categories: resources