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ENGL 2A: Reading Food, Self and Culture (Leither W20)

Task 1: Background

You are looking for scholarly, background or introductory information relating to topic.

(Hint: scholarly books, encyclopedias, Wikipedia, or research reports are appropriate when you need a broad overview of a topic).

In this guide, go to "Find Books" to begin looking for that kind of background source. (For other assignments, using an encyclopedia article is also acceptable).

Find a scholarly book published within the last 10 years about your topic that gives a broad overview. 

Ex. history of ethics in advertising  /  food industry AND ethics

Answer the following questions about your source at:

Task 2: News

You are looking for a news article written for the general public relating to your topic.

Go to the "Find Newspapers" section of this guide and find a news source published recently about your topic where they cite or interview an expert. If this takes you more than 5 minutes to find an article with an interview, skip and move on!

Ex. doping AND sports competition*

Answer the following questions about your source  at

Task 3: Scholarly

You are looking for scholarly, nuanced analysis and research on your topic.

Step I: Brainstorm 2-3 different possible subject areas that your topic might fall under. (Hint: look under "Databases" then "Browse by Subject" on the Library homepage.)

Step II: For each of those subjects areas, identify 2 possible databases for further exploration. 

Step III: Find 2 (two) academic source within one of those databases that contains current research written by scholars or experts on your topic.

Ex. deception* AND social media

Answer all of the above following questions about your source at


Note: Be sure to check the citation for accuracy against the OWL Purdue site, for example.

Task 4: Rank Your Experts

You should have 3-4 sources with different experts who authored or who were interviewed. Among these, who are the top thinkers? Which represents the "best" research?

There are strategies you can use to begin developing an ideas of expertise. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Copy each source citation OR author's name and search for them separately in Google Scholar. How many citations does it have? Record that information.
    • Are any of the author's names clickable? If so, click through to see their Scholar page.
    • What can you learn about them and their authority? (Things you should consider: what is their current position or title? Where do they currently work? What professional and/or academic history do they have relevant to this topic?)
  2. Interpret the information you have collected (number of citations with year of publication, plus author credentials).
    • Rank them with commentary. Who comes out on top?

Answer all of the above following questions about your experts at