Part of becoming a skilled researcher is knowing when to ask for help. The academic research process can be and often is complex. These workshops are intended to introduce you to resources that will allow you to find relevant sources to inform your final project and to strengthen your research skills. However, we don't intend for these workshops to be the end of teaching you research techniques. Whenever you hit a roadblock in your research, ask the librarian for guidance.
In the box directly below, we have provided a link to the AskUs page of the Research Center, so that you can seek help at any stage of your research. On the far right column, we have provided the contact information for Peggy Keeran, so that you can email her directly with any questions you have or to make a consultation appointment.
The conversations that contribute to academic conversation take place in various venues, from the traditional university press book and peer-reviewed scholarly article to film reviews, blog posts, and social media. In this course you will be seeking out the variety of conversations related to your research project, determining the intended audience and the authority of the publications or online resources you wish to include, and contributing to the scholarly discussion about your topic in your film analysis paper.
Research is an iterative and often non-linear process. Critical thinking is crucial throughout the research process, so that you are continually analyzing and evaluating your findings to see how they contribute or fail to contribute to your argument and to your understanding to the larger conversation surrounding your topic.
Finding Academic and Film Review Publications
In this first workshop, we will introduce traditional forms of publications that contribute to the understanding of a film, from magazine and newspapers reviews at the time the film was first released to the academic discussions found in scholarly journals.
For films released today, reviews which provide that first response can be found not only in newspapers and magazines, but in blog posts, movie review websites, and social media. A movie released in the mid-twentieth century, however, will only have more traditional types of responses found in magazines and newspapers, and perhaps, if they exist, through television and radio transcripts or archived audio or video.
Using the resources distributed in class today and those included on the tab for Workshop 1 on this research guide, you will evaluate the various conversations going on in traditional popular and academic publications about depictions of Jesus in film.
Although academic scholars are professionally evaluated on the books and peer-reviewed articles they publish, it is important that faculty also impart their knowledge to the public at large. Scholars may be invited to write articles for magazines and blogs or be interviewed, they may maintain websites to serve as mediators for Web-based content on a topic, they may create podcasts or post video on YouTuobe or Vimeo, or they may have Twitter, Tumblr, etc. accounts to deliver updates about the topic. In this workshop we will evaluate four websites in groups, and then search individually for academic voices in social media related to the Bible in film or to Jesus/Christ films. Independent scholars, too, who do not have academic appointments at a college or university, may launch websites, managed in a thoroughly professional way, to create a portfolio of work in a field in which they have expertise to establish a reputation and present academic credentials in an alternative way.