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WRIT 120: Hip Hop Culture and the Poetics of Place

The Research Process

Research is fun! It's also hard work, and messy, and full of ideas that might not fit together the first time you try.  Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Most research and writing projects look like disasters at some point. If this happens to you, congratulations! You are a perfectly normal researcher!
  • Give yourself time for each step of the project. When questions or uncertainties come up, you'll have the time and the mental bandwidth to deal with them.
  • As you investigate your topic, you may come up with new ideas and return to thoughts you had two weeks ago. It is normal for your project to change, develop, and backtrack as you focus on the specific thing you want to say.
  • You may have a hard time finding materials that support your first idea. It may be that you are asking questions in a way that isn't yielding results. Whether it's developing new search terms, or reframing your research question so it uses the information you have already found, I can help you with that!

Finding Karen, Your Course Librarian

Hello from Karen Olson, your friendly Music and Fine Arts Librarian (and from Citlalli, her cat!)

Karen, wearing headphones, posing with her tortoiseshell cat, Citlalli.

I'm usually in Halvorson Music Library on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. My office is to the right as you enter the music library.

I usually work out of Rolvaag on Tuesdays and Fridays. To get to my Rolvaag office, go past the main desk and turn right at the spiral staircase into the reference area. There's a small corridor of offices running along the back of the space; my office, 306, is on the end of that corridor.

Please note: I'm taking an online Swedish class Tuesdays at 4, so I will not be available for consultations then.

More Research and Writing Help

For research questions:

  • Make an appointment with Karen for one-on-one research help.
  • Email Karen if you just have a quick question.
  • Visit a Research & Writing Tutor (seated by the Rolvaag Circulation Desk) for after-hours help. They are available Sunday-Thursday from 7-9 pm.

For writing help:

  • Make an appointment with the Writing Desk for assistance with organizing ideas and improving your writing style.