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Discovery Seminar – Elion – Fall 2020

A guide for students in the Sounding Out the City Discovery Seminar.
  Library Session Activities

Activity 1: Source Exploration

Your audio essay challenges you to "think sonically" about issues around your city. To thoroughly explore your topic, you will need to approach your research question from multiple perspectives and draw on the techniques of different academic disciplines. Being flexible and thinking creatively about the sources you look for will be key!

Practice

Suppose this is your research topic: "Many residents of San Francisco complain about the presence of private shuttle buses hired by tech companies to take young workers from the center of the city to the suburban campuses of Google, Facebook, etc. They claim that these shuttles drive up rents in areas near the shuttle stops and also get in the way of people trying to use municipal (public) bus stops. You could investigate how the buses change the sound near their shuttle stops (by making it either noisier or quieter, or by changing the kinds of voices heard on certain street corners) and make a case for what that tells you about public tensions about transit."

Questions

You find these four sources during your search. For your source, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What kind of source is this? Would it be helpful if you were working on this topic?
  2. What aspect of the topic is reflected in this source?
  3. If you wanted to find more information on the subject discussed in this source, what keywords would you use? How could you expand your search to include perspectives of multiple disciplines?
Source 1 Source 2
Source 3 Source 4

 

  Library Session Activities

Activity 2: Group Searching

Your audio essay challenges you to "think sonically" about issues around your city. To thoroughly explore your topic, you will need to approach your research question from multiple perspectives and draw on the techniques of different academic disciplines. For this activity, we will be thinking about the information you will need and where you can find it.

Questions

You will be split into groups to explore topics together. For your topic, ask yourself these questions. We will be discussing your answers to the bolded questions together:

  1. Briefly, explain your topic to your group.
  2. What type of information will be helpful as you write and think about your topic? Who has something interesting to say about your topic?
  3. Who is publishing this information and where can you find it?
  4. With your group, brainstorm some keywords that you can use to search databases and websites. See what suggestions your groupmates have for you.
  5. What additional keywords did you come across while searching? Remember that you can expand or adjust your keywords to help you find more results.
  6. Find a source on your topic if you can. What does this source add to your understanding of the topic?
  7. We will be coming around to help!