Today we had a short lecture on how to best use the resources at hand to aid us not just in the constellation essay that we need to complete, but for future essays and projects. We looked at the topic of controversy as thats the topic we need to explore for our constellation essay that is due in at the end of the term. We established that something that is controversial is trying evoke reaction and emotion in us. Therefore it is important to check validity of the piece of controversial material as people will be out to evoke your reaction and could use any material as a source regardless of accuracy or truth. So one should ask questions such as what is the purpose of the information or image? What kind of language does it use? Is it there to inform or promote? Is it balanced? By asking these questions one can avoid being sold propaganda and reacting to fake and bias information and images.
From here we moved onto the different types of resources and research-material available. This was a particularly useful part of the talk as it will be great to refer to when we are looking to carry out research for essays and projects. We were given this table below.
We also looked at the Pros and Cons of search engines starting with Google. Google is good because it is a quick and effective way of finding information which is current and up to date. However, not all websites and images are well researched, valid or authentic and the results that you get can be hit or miss. Many sites dont provide information on source or provenance, so one don’t acually know if it existed, so there is a chance that it could be a hoax. It is very easy to simply take a image from the web and make it look like its something that it isn’t. The image below gives an example of this-
The woman is the Swedish actress, singer, and glamour model Natacha Peyre. The guy next to her remains unidentified. He’s probably just a fan that she agreed to pose for a photo with. According to reports, Peyre has been dating Swedish pop singer Dhani Lennevald for a number of years, and he’s not the guy in the photo, nor is he a $181 million lottery winner. Thats just one example of how easy it is to creat a hoax out of a completely innocent image.
The other search engine we look at the pros and cons of is the University’s search engine called Summon. Summon gives access to quality academic and verified resources such as books, journals, newspapers and images. However, it can be a bit hit and miss. When writing an essay it is important to read around the topic to form a well balanced argument, so when reading around the topic its important to used a search engine that will give you the best resources that are well verified. This might mean using google initially and then using summons for more specific verification. I found this short lecture helpful because it gave me guidance for where I should look, and how I should look, for resources when writing essay and the suchlike.