ECIV 304: Eastern Civilization: Research

The guide provides library research materials for broad understanding of traditional cultures and literature of East Asia.

Where to Start? (by Jon Giullian)

Use the Craft of Research to help you conceptualize and work through the process of developing your research project.  Chapters 3: From Topics to Questions will guide you throught the process of asking questions to channel your ideas until you arrive at the burning question that you want to answer.  Chapter 4: From Questions to a Problem will help you channel your questions into a hypothesis that will give your research project direction.  

Research Paper

Decide a topic:

Culture, history, philosophy, religions, and social structure from earliest times to 1800(how do you propose a topic base on primary document?)

What kind of a paper? Develop 
a research
 question.

Is your research paper a report on a topic or a unique contribution to or viewpoint on a field of knowledge. What is the argument you want to make? 

Parts to consider:

  • Introduction (what about this topic that interests you, what are qeustions you want to answer about this research?)
  • Literature Review (annotated bibliography, summarize historical text, analyze primary source text) 
  • Methods (critique a few seconary sources based on critical reading(s), analyze primary source in the context of secondary sources)  
  • Results 
  • References (choose a citation style. This is the most important part of your research paper which shows what you read and research is based on.)

You may want to add an “Abstract” and a “Conclusions” 

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

I. Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period.  A primary source reflects the individual viewpoint of a participant or observer. 

  • Diaries, journals, speeches, interviews, letters, memos, manuscripts and other papers in which individuals describe events in which they were participants or observers.
  • Memoirs and autobiographies. These may be less reliable than diaries or letters since they are usually written long after events occurred and may be distorted by bias, dimming memory or the revised perspective that may come with hindsight. 
  • Original records or document collected by government agencies: births, deaths, marriages; permits and licenses issued; census data, etc.
  • Records of organizations.   The minutes, reports, correspondence, etc. of an organization or agency serve as an ongoing record of the activity and thinking of that organization or agency.
  • Published materials (books, magazine and journal articles, newspaper  articles) written at the time about a particular event.  The important thing is to distinguish between material written at the time of an event as a kind of report, and material written much later, as historical analysis.
  • Photographs, audio recordings and moving pictures or video recordings,  documenting an event.
  • Research data,  field notes, data of scientific experiments, and
  • Artifacts of all kinds:physical objects

II. Secondary Sources

Secondary sources provide interpretation and analysis of primary sources.

  • Literature and book reviews
  • works of criticism and interpretation of the original  

Research Guides: Primary and secondary sources (Ithaca College Library)

Primary, secondary and tertiary sources (PDF file by Jana Krentz)

Getting started (by John Stratton)

Selecting the right resource, database, or web site to begin the process of collecting research materials can be daunting, especially in light of the number of formats available today. 

  • Several strategies may be employed to find the research materials you need. It may be useful to first consider searching the Libraries online catalog to find if we have a particular source (see: Catalog: books & more)
  • Or it may be worthwhile to find a relevant database in a specific subject to search for relevant journal articles related to your research (see:  Research by Subject)
  • In addition, it may be useful to consider using the Subject and Course Guides link to find particular resources to begin your work.

Sometimes, just discussing your research project may be helpful.  Beside the Business School faculty, I want to stress again that I am available for consultation at any time during the research process!

Things to remember (by John Stratton)

What if KU doesn't have the book or article that you need? 

There are several tips I want to offer you that should prove useful to you in the future.

  • If you need materials that we do not own in the KU Libraries, please note you can request that we obtain them for you.  See the following link for more information:  Interlibrary Loan Borrowing

Organizing your research materials:

  • KU has purchased a site license to the bibliographic management software tool known as EndNote. KU offers workshops in the usage of this software, so check with the Business School office or with me to find out more information about the training that may be available to you.

Writing your research papers:

  • Once you've done the work and are writing the results, you may want to know about the services provided by the KU Writing Center. The Writing Center can provide valuable assistance and support to you as you begin the process of writing, assess our progress, or work through various drafts of your work.   Many of their services are aimed specifically at graduate students. 

China & Korea Studies

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