Contemporary Social Issues
First library workshop
November 1, 2004

The aim of this workshop and the work that follows is to learn one way to take initial steps in finding out what it takes to become expert on a contemporary social issue you care about and hope to affect.

Please don't get hung up on the topic.  (This workshop, however, is designed around topics that fall within the social sciences.)  Choose something that interests you; you can refine it has you work.

On Friday, give your seminar leader a copy of your search results.  While you certainly can collaborate with other students, write up your own report and if you've shared the work, let us know with whom.

Your report (due at the beginning of seminar on Friday):

    1. Your topic and the academic disciplines you found to be relevant.  List the encyclopedias you consulted and annotate briefly what each article addressed.
    2. List the "literature reviews" you read and annotate what you discovered in each.
    3. Who are some of the "main players" clustered around your topic?  What are some of the important disagreements and shared assumptions?
    4. What are some possible questions that must be addressed by public policy relevant to your topic?
    5. List important web-sites that focus on your topic.  Annotate whether they are primarily advocacy sites or more about research and scholarship.  How might one best use each site?
Please keep in mind that this is an exercise and not a commitment to the topic of your winter quarter project.
When you choose your Legislative Hearings Project topic, the principal criterion will be that four of you are willing to work on it together.  The project is structured around this premise.