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CNST 1140: Racism and Ethnic Relations in Canada (Prahst)

This guide is designed to help you with library research for the essay assignment in CNST 1140.


Your term paper for this class is a paper of about 3,000 words on any issue involving racism and ethnic issues in Canada, or in the wider world with a comparison to Canada. You must reference at least 4 sources (not including websites) in MLA or APA format.

Sources for research papers like this should generally be scholarly or academic -- written by scholars, for other scholars.

Scholarly sources

When we use the terms scholarly resource, academic resource, or peer-reviewed resource, we are often talking about the same thing. Scholarly resources include books, ebooks, or scholarly (peer-reviewed) journal articles. This is in contrast to popular media resources, which include newspapers, magazines, films and movies, television shows, podcasts, and many of the free resources you find online.

Scholarly articles usually go through peer review. Peer review refers to the process by which articles are evaluated for publication. Articles submitted to a journal get sent out to other academics and experts in the field for them to evaluate and critique - the "peers" of that author who submitted the article. These people have expert knowledge in that field and can better evaluate the research methods, findings, etc. than a general editor can. The articles have gone through an extensive vetting process and should be of high quality by the time they're published. That is why we want you to use this type of article in your research.

Watch Peer Review in 3 Minutes for more information on this:

Books don't go through the peer review process, so when you're looking for scholarly books you need to pay attention to who wrote the book. Are they a scholar? Are they reporting on their own original research? Is the book published by a scholarly or university press?

For all the sources you find, think critically about the information presented and how that information will help your analysis. A well researched paper draws from a number of different sources, so read widely and deeply. While Wikipedia can be a good place to get general background and help wrap your head around a topic, you are discouraged from directly referencing Wikipedia in any of your assignments. This is because it is difficult to determine exactly who has written or updated a Wikipedia article; to conduct proper research at the post-secondary level, it is important to know who is writing a resource, why they are writing it, and how they intend the resource to be used.

If you're ever unsure about whether a resource is appropriate to use, check with your instructor or a librarian.