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ENG 111 Prof. Sean Gerrity Spring 2021

Guide to support the annotated bibliography project tied to the novel No-No Boy.

Effective keywords

Quick Tip #1: Use keywords instead of whole sentences:
internment Nisei post-traumatic
would be better to use to search than:
Did any of the second-generation Japanese Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome after their internment experience? 
Why? Even though the second question is understandable to a person, the search engine treats all the words as important, even though a lot of the words in that sentence--by themselves, on their own--are not meaningful, or have too many meanings.

Quick Tip #2: Think about words the writers would use. If you're looking for writing from another time, think about the words they used at that time.
For instance, today many people find using the word "alien" to mean immigrant is offensive, because "alien" has a negative and even non-human association. But in the 1940s, U.S. newspapers, especially those that did not like immigrants, would use that word often, so you might want to include it if you are searching for news articles from that time.

Evaluating sources

Selecting a good choice for the bibliography

For this project, you will need to make sure what you find has to do with the Japanese American internment, and that it connects in some way to what you have read in No-No Boy

Some tips for evaluating the credibility of any text

Determining credibility is not a simple "good" vs. "bad" judgment. Figuring out how credible a source is demands critical thought, investigation, and reflection.  Some good questions to consider:

Who wrote this and how qualified are they to write about the subject? 

What is their point of view? 

Understanding an author's point of view is part of understanding their writing, and you will be writing about their point of view for your bibliography. 

Sometimes writers indicate their point of view by stating directly what their opinions are. But very often, as a reader you don't just look for those direct statements, but also figure out what their point of view is by noticing the kinds of things they choose to present as important, the ideas that they assume to be true, and the language they use to describe something or someone. 

What kinds of arguments do they use?

Are they appealing to our logic? If so, does their argument logically make sense?

Are they appealing to our feelings? To an ethical or religious value that we might share with them?

Where did they get their information? (do they even tell us?)

If you are interested in reading more about questions that are good to ask when evaluating readings, please see the library's Research 101 page on evaluating sources.