Harlem Renaissance

Research Writing

Note-taking Process

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Begin each set of notes for a source on a new sheet of paper, index card or word-processing document.

Begin each set of notes by recording all required information for a works cited entry.

You can skim the source and use the table of contents & index to decide if the source will be valuable to the focus of your research.

When you write down notes, be sure to record page number from which quote, information, or idea came.

Types of Notes

A) Direct Quotations

· You are including the voice of an authority on a topic

· You must use exact words and punctuation as the original

· You must present these words in quotation marks or in an indented block (more than 4 lines)

· You must cite author & pg. # — use MLA primary method the first time using the source

· Should be about 10-15% of your paper

B) Paraphrased Notes

· Restate the original in your own words — put original author’s words & ideas in our own voice

· Rewrite the original in about the same number of words/sentences

· Cite author & pg #, just like a direct quote

· Keep exceptional, unique or technical terms or phrases as in the original and place them in quotation marks

· Try to maintain the tone/sense of the original with careful word substitution choices:

Original = “demands”

Paraphrase = “suggests”

“asks”

“urges”

“insists”

C) Summary Notes

· Quick overview of factual data, dates, events — condense with precision

· Cite author & pg. #

D) Personal Notes

· Your ideas perspectives, connections between sources, contradictions between sources, questions the source raises

From Notes to Thesis Statement

· Read through notes and try to identify categories of information

· Organize specific items from notes of different sources under your categories

· Use idea generation techniques—questioning, listing, branching/clustering, focused freewriting—to move toward a specific thesis

Thesis Statements

A thesis statement expresses your ideas on a topic in a full declarative sentence.

A thesis statement is NOT:

· A topic > The influence of the blues in the 1960s

· A proposal > This paper will examine the influence of the blues in the 1960s.

· A question > What is the significance of the influence of the blues in the 1960s.

However, the answer to such a question can be developed into a thesis statement:

“During the 1960s, the blues had a major influence on American culture, in terms of the artistic evolution of popular music and in the building of bridges between black and white Americans.”

A thesis statement:

· Limits the scope of the paper to a narrow focus

· Establishes an investigative edge to your research

· Provides an organizational structure (outline) for our paper

· Points toward your conclusion

Thesis Focusing Questions

1) What is the point of my research?

2) What do I want the paper to do?

3) Can I tell the reader something new or different about the subject?

4) Do I have a solution to the problem?

5) Do I have a new approach to the issue?

6) What is my theory about the subject?

7) What is the significance of my topic?

Outlining

· Your thesis statement should give direction & focus to your outline

· Identify “code words” as you’re researching – ideas, words, events – that are common in the vocabulary of the sources that you are using; these “code words” can suggest major areas of information that are needed to support your thesis and will be major sections of your outline

· Hierarchy – identify a hierarchy or ranking of major & minor ideas – what order is most effective in presenting information & ideas to the reader?

· Outlines should be flexible – you can rearrange, add & delete in response to writing your draft or finding new sources

· Everything in the outline should relate back to the thesis

· You have two options with outlining: topic or sentence. In the first use bulleted ideas and code words; in the second you write out full sentences.

Outline Model

Indicating categories of information

I

A

1

a

b

c

2

a

b

c

II

A

1

a

b

c

B

1

a

b

c

Thesis Statement to Outline

“During the 1960s, the blues had a major influence on American culture, in terms of the artistic evolution of popular music and in the building of bridges between black and white Americans.”

I Introduction

A) “Hook” — something related to topic that will grab the reader’s attention; a quote or a striking statistic or fact; an anecdote or provocative questions. Don’t worry about it to start paper; use a “throw away hook” until you revise the first draft

B) Transitional material — connect the hook to your

thesis statement

C) Thesis statement — A thesis statement expresses your
ideas on a topic in a full declarative sentence (or two
sentences for stylistic reasons).

II Background Information — Blues

A) History

A) Roots

i. African Retentions

1. quote Jones pg. 81

2. statistics Levine pgs. 101& 102

ii. Spirituals

iii. Work Songs

B) Evolution

i. Term “blues”

ii. First references

iii. First recordings

B) Musical Elements

C) Structure

i. Rhythm

ii. Harmony

D) Styles

i. Piedmont

ii. Delta

iii. Classic

iv. Jump

v. Urban/Electric

III Background — 1960s African American Music & Culture

A) State of African American Popular Music

1Jazz

a)

b)

c)

2) R&B

a)

b)

c)

E) Gospel

a)

b)

c)

F) Blues

a)

b)

c)

B) State of White Poplar Music

2) Rock & Roll

3) Pop

4) Country & Western

C) Race Relations in USA

A) Civil Rights Movement

B)

3)

IV Blues & Artistic Evolution of American Music in 1960s

A) Folk Revival

B) British Invasion

C) Blues Revival

D) Rock Revolution

V Blues as Bridge Between Black & White

A)

B)

C)

VI Conclusion

A)

B)

VII Works Cited

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