In addition to drawing on our class readings, Paper 2 also asks you to incorporate sources from your own research. Different types of sources could be helpful for our purposes. For example, if I were analyzing a song by Taylor Swift, I could look at sources that discuss the specific song, Swift herself, other artists like Swift, pop or country music, or music in general. I could look at sources that take up concepts relevant to Swift and the conversations around her music – concepts such as relationships, celebrity, feminism, or #squadgoals. All of these types of sources could be applied to Swift in some way, even if they don’t discuss her work directly. We can draw on different genres of writing as well: academic scholarship, journalism, critical writing in magazines or on blogs, etc.
As you conduct your research, you should look at a range of different databases. You are welcome to draw on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, but it will also help to look at more specific databases as well. For academic sources, check out JSTOR, Project Muse, and Academic Search Complete on the library’s website (Google Scholar will also be helpful here). For newspaper articles, use LexisNexis or the sites of specific newspapers, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, or The Guardian. Relevant magazines and sites for cultural criticism include The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Slate, Salon, The Los Angeles Review of Books, New York Magazine, Media Diversified, The New Inquiry, Valid, Vox, and Medium.
Through your research, you should identify at least three sources that help you think about the cultural artifact you are analyzing in “Coming to Terms with Culture” and Paper 2. You should submit your research in the form of an annotated bibliography. This means you should include the following for each source: complete MLA citations and one or two substantial paragraphs of annotations that summarize the source, capturing its main argument and ideas, and explain how it contributes to your thinking about your cultural text.