The Great Research Disaster

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					            >infolit land                                                                         William Badke
                                                                                          Trinity Western University




                                                 The Great Research Disaster


                            I  came across the following account accidentally stapled to the back of a fairly
                               decent sophomore research paper. I feel compelled to share it, regardless of
                            what kind of trouble I might get into from its author, one Liw Ekdab. The world
                            Liw has moved into should give us all cause for concern. Read on.

                            THE TEXT OF THE STUDENT'S LETTER
                                Note to self—type this up before you send it to the student newspaper.
                                So I had to do this essay for my mod hist class, and I have to tell you I’m done
                            with libraries. I mean, give me a break! Clunky search engines, can’t find the arti-
                            cles I want even when the prof tells me what they are. Nobody lets you use Google.




“      The world Liw has
       moved into should
        give us all cause
                            And you don’t want to ask those librarians anything—they all look so superior.
                                Me, I’m not what you’d call a model student. Sure, I know college is my ticket
                            to the future and all that, but then along comes another research paper. I hate
                            them. At least I’ve wised up about libraries. Nothing works like it’s supposed to.
                            The technology is rough; nothing makes sense. The only thing a librarian ever did
                            for me was one of those orientation classes. I slept through it, so that wasn’t any
                            kind of help at all.
            for concern.        This time, I’m going straight to Google. Sure, the prof said no websites, but
                            Google has books, right? And that Google Scholar has articles. I bet I could put
                            together a paper from pieces of Google and never come near a library or even a
                            library website. I bet I could write a paper good enough to get at least a B+.
                                Right away there’s a problem—my topic is the looting of the [Iraq] National
                            Museum of Baghdad during the Iraq War in 2003. That means I won’t find any thing
                            in old books, and Google Books doesn’t let you see much of the new ones. Could
                            be a challenge. Google Scholar likewise. I tried it once—couldn’t figure out what I
                            was looking at. Some of the sites asked you to pay, others were books …. Still, I
                            think this is a better plan than trying to figure out the library. Who knows? Worth
                            a try at least.

                            WIKIPEDIA
                                I’ve heard it a bunch of times: “Don’t use Wikipedia. If I see a Wikipedia article
                            in your bibliography, you get a zero for your paper.” But I know it’s the go-to place
                            for the background you need. And Wikipedia didn’t let me down for this one. I found
                            a great article on the National Museum of Iraq.
                                I read it for background, OK? I wasn’t planning to quote from it or anything. And
                            the article had links at the end. One was for the website of the Smithsonian
                            [Institution], wit
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: The author's topic is the Looting of the (Iraq) National Museum of Baghdad during the Iraq War in 2003. That means the author won't find anything in old books, and Google Books doesn't Let you see much of the new ones. Could be a challenge. Wikipedia is the go-to place for the background you need. And Wikipedia didn't let the author down for this one. He founds a great article on the National Museum of Iraq. The author opened Google Books and searched on Iraq War museum. Lots of results. Some of them, of course, had no preview, but he founds enough to give him a decent book list. It might be cathartic just to spend a few minutes weeping over this research disaster and what it represents by way of opportunity lost and education wasted in the name of expediency. You could be realistic and remind yourselves that students have always cut corners.
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