Research Paper Forum - Spring 2009

Welcome by Professor Julia Lupton with fellow researcher Professor Vinayak Chaturvedi

Tips from the Writing Director, Dr. Elizabeth Losh

Not the end but the the beginning of your UCI writing career


Family History (like a paper on crafts made in Japanese internment camps)

Community Stories (like a paper about Chicano t-shirts)

Stimulating Coursework (like a paper about Holocaust poetry)

Regional Conflict (like a paper about the drama of the redevelopment of Chavez Ravine)

Interesting Archival Materials (like a paper about dance under McCarthyism based on materials in UCI's Dance Archive)

Special Collections has nationally recognized collections in dance, political literature, artists' books, Southeast Asia, Orange County, critical theory, etc. It also holds the archives of the university.

What's Already There:

A Web Page with Prize-Winning Papers from Last Year

A Web Page from the Previous Cycle of HCC with Prize-Winning Papers and Advice from Students, Faculty, and Librarians

A List of Topics from Papers Nominated for UROP Prizes Last Year

A List of Sample Topics

Don't forget about the Writer's Handbook!

The Annotated Bibliography

The 4-Sentence Annotation Method from UCI's Composition Program

Information about annotation from librarians at Cornell University, University of Minnesota, and the University of Toronto.

A sample annotated bibliography from an HCC student (and the prospectus for the research paper that she wrote afterward)

Shaping a Thesis

Read the Prompt!

Make sure your topic is relevant to the course and the cluster and watch out for the temptation just to write a biography or pro/con policy paper.

Ask good research questions! Is there a primary source that has been underexamined or misinterpreted? Is there a mystery or ambiguity that scholars who write secondary sources have missed?

What categories of analysis appeal to you? Your thesis will likely change as your research project progresses!

These sample papers from different curricula of HCC used specific categories of analysis that you have learned about this year!

A Sample Research Project: Robbie Conal

Art and Action: The Artist's Website, collaborator Shephard Fairey, and the Center for the Study of Political Graphics

Collective Intelligence: advice on guerrilla postering

Built Environments: where to poster

Publics and Counterpublics: The documentary Post No Bills in the Langson Multimedia Center

Activism and Tactical Media: the political can be personal

Primary Sources from ARTstor (search results show the posters in urban environments)

Secondary Sources from ANTPAC and the Library's databases:

Books from ANTPAC such as Design of Dissent by Milton Glaser and Mirko Ilic (and other books that come up under "political posters") or Contemporary Art in Southern California

Articles from ARTbibliographies Modern


Unauthorized History: Robbie Conal's Portraits of Power from the Pasadena Art Alliance: September 8-November 9, 1990

Life and Times TV Episode

Creating an Electronic Notebook

Zotero: It works with ANTPAC, Google Book Search,, newspapers like The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, YouTube videos, and academic publications like scholarly journal articles, conference proceedings, etc. You can also export bibliographies and notes for several automatically generated formats (including MLA and CMS) into Word documents. It also takes screen shots of your research sources.

BibMe doesn't have the data capture tools of Zotero, but it is a handy way to organize bibliographies.

Social Bookmarking Sites like Diigo and

News Readers like Netvibes or iGoogle and RSS feeds through sites like Technorati (but protect your privacy by using pseudonyms or a Google anonymizer)

Web lookup tools like Wordweb

Presentation by the Library and Tina Breitbach

Don't forget to use indexes and bibliographies in your print sources to find information faster or discover more of it from other experts.

Subject Guides

News and Newspapers

Digital Image Collections

Articles from JSTOR and Project Muse

Databases and Indexes like America: History and Life, Historical Abstracts, and the MLA Bibliography

Academic Search Complete

UCI e-links

RefWorks Workshops for HCC Students

More Help from the Librarians: The HCC Page, Ask a Librarian, and the Primary Sources Tutorial

Presentation by UROP Prize-Winning Students Helen Yoshida and Robert Simpson