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Research Methods for the Theatre

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Title: Research Methods for the Theatre


1
Research Methods for the Theatre
  • Department of Theatre and Dance
  • University of Mary Washington

2
Research Methods
  • I. Developing a research topic
  • II. Forming a search strategy
  • III. Identifying, Locating and Evaluating
    information sources

3
Developing a Research Topic
  • A clearly defined research topic is the first
    step in successful research.

4
The Assignments
  • 1 Write a research paper on some aspect of
    contemporary theatre.
  • 2 Complete a character analysis of Emma Goldman.
  • 3 Design scenery, lights and costumes for The
    Game of Love and Chance by Marivaux.

5
I. Developing a Research Topic
  • Defining a specific research question

6
Assignment 1 Write a research paper on some
aspect of contemporary theatre.
  • Need idea of what information is available before
    you write.
  • Broad topic, too many options
  • Difficult to find relevant sources if topic is
    broad/ambiguous
  • What if there is nothing new to say?
  • Narrow topic, too few options
  • What if you choose a topic with no information?
  • Literature Review?

7
What is a Literature Review?
  • Generally, the purpose of a literature review is
    to analyze critically a segment of a published
    body of knowledge through summary,
    classification, and comparison of prior research
    studies, other literature reviews, and
    theoretical articles.
  • Review of Literature. The Writers Handbook.
    The Writing Center, UW at Madison. 2004, 15
    Feburary 2006 lthttp//www.wisc.edu/writing/Handboo
    k/
  • ReviewofLiterature.htmlgt. Path Home Writers
    Handbook Common Writing Assignments Review of
    Literature.

8
Assignment 1 Write a research paper on some
aspect of contemporary theatre.
  • How did American theatre and theatre artists
    respond to the events of 9-11? Were any plays
    written that dealt with the events? If so, what
    were the themes of those plays?

9
Assignment 2 Complete a character analysis of
Emma Goldman.
  • Research and write a complete, detailed
    biographical study of Emma Goldman relative to
    developing her as a character for the play Emma
    by Howard Zinn.

10
Assignment 3 Design scenery, lights and
costumes for The Game of Love and Chance.
  • Complete an analysis of 18th century French style
    in order to design costumes, lights, and scenery
    for The Game of Love and Chance.

11
II. Determine a Search Strategy
  • How will you search to find the information you
    are looking for?

12
Determining a Search Strategy
  • Identify subject and key concepts for your search
    topic
  • Identify potential information sources
  • Identify where those information sources are
    located in the library, and how to use them

13
Determining a search strategy Identify subject
and key concepts for topic
  • Purpose
  • Subject Area
  • Focus
  • Topic
  • Topic
  • Concepts
  • Subject Key Word

14
How did American theatre and theatre artists
respond to the events of 9-11? Were any plays
written that dealt with the events? If so, what
were the themes of those plays?
  • Purpose Scholarly research paper
  • Subject 21st century theatre history
  • Focus American theatre after 9-11
  • Topic How did American theatre respond to the
    events of 9-11.
  • Concepts
  • Theater/re, response to 9/11
  • Subject Key Words
  • Theatre plays, drama, theatre
  • Response reactions
  • 9-11 terrorism

15
Research and write a complete, detailed
biographical study of Emma Goldman relative to
developing her as a character in the play Emma by
Howard Zinn.
  • Purpose Scholarly research paper.
  • Subject Emma Goldman
  • Focus Biographical Study
  • Topic Life, times, and beliefs of Emma Goldman.
  • Concepts
  • Emma Goldman, Biographical information
  • Subject Key Words
  • Goldman anarchist, suffraget
  • Biographical information life, death

16
Complete an analysis of 18th century French style
in order to design costumes, lights, and scenery
for She Stoops to Conquer.
  • Purpose Scholarly research for design.
  • Subject 18th C. France.
  • Focus Period style
  • Topic What were the architecture, décor, dress,
    and art of the 18th c France?
  • Concepts
  • 18th c French architecture, décor, dress, art,
    history.
  • Subject Key Words
  • 18th c eighteenth century, Rococo
  • Dress Clothes, costume.
  • Art Painting, sculpture
  • Architecture Domestic, Religious, Versailles
  • Décor Interior decoration
  • History Government

17
Determining a search strategy Identify
potential information sources
  • Research needs determine which information
    sources to search!

18
Identifying Potential Source Options
  • Subject Related subject areas
  • Subject arealibrary subject area
  • Source Content Level
  • Source Scope
  • Identification of possible sources
  • Search strategy

19
Identifying Potential Source Options
  • Source Content
  • Scholarlythose created by persons taking a
    scholarly approach to the subject.
  • Popularthose created by persons taking a
    non-scholarly approach to the subject.
  • Criteria to tell the difference
  • Source Level
  • Primarygenerally, those created at the time of
    the event or persons life that you are studying.
  • Secondarygenerally, those created after the time
    of the event of the persons life that you are
    studying.
  • Criteria to tell the difference

20
Assignment 1
  • Principal Subject Area
  • Humanities
  • Theatre
  • Related Subject Area
  • Source Content
  • 1st Choice Scholarlyneed analytical opinions
    from theatre scholars.
  • 2nd Choice Popularmay provide reviews of plays
    and opinions as to their value, or the plays from
    the audiences point of view.

21
Assignment 1
  • Source Level
  • Primary necessary because they will capture the
    immediate response of the theatre community.
  • Secondary necessary because they will evaluate,
    compare and analyze the theatre of the event.
  • Source Scope
  • Comprehensive and specialized sources are
    acceptable.

22
Assignment 1
  • Source Identification
  • 1st Choice Periodicals will be best for primary
    sources as most will still be available in
    electronic indexes. It will be best source for
    theatre periodicals (scholarly), and it will also
    have human interest stories (popular) in papers
    like the New York Times.
  • Carlson, M. 9/11, Afghanistan, and Iraq The
    Response of the New York Theatre. Theatre
    Survey, May 2004.
  • Cameron, B. When 9/11 is History. Theatre
    Survey, September, 2002.
  • Salmon, J. A Response to 9/11, So Unheroically
    Human. New York Times, December 15, 2002.

23
Assignment 1
  • Source Identification
  • 2nd Choice
  • Books will be helpful, particularly if they are a
    compilation of articles on the subject or books
    written about the subject. (Too early for them
    to have been written?)
  • Play Scripts written about the events of 9/11
    will give insight into the theatres response.
  • Mueller, L. Voices from September 11th.
  • Thomas, A. Batra, T. With their Eyes September
    11ththe View from a High School at Ground Zero.
  • LaBute, N. The Mercy Seat.

24
Assignment 1
  • Search Strategy
  • Begin with a general search of journal databases
    looking for scholarly and popular articles with a
    subject of theatre and 9/11. Then move to see if
    there are any books or plays that have been
    written about the topic specifically, or that
    hold essays on the subject.

25
Assignment 2
  • Principal Subject Area
  • Humanities
  • History
  • Related Subject Area
  • Social Sciences
  • Womens studies
  • Political science
  • Source Content
  • 1st Choice Scholarlyneed biographical sources
    explaining her place as an anarchist, feminist,
    and social activist.
  • 2nd Choice Popularlook in contemporary
    periodicals for articles written about her.

26
Assignment 2
  • Source Level
  • SecondaryContemporary authors who have written
    about her will be most prevelant.
  • PrimaryDid she write an autobiography? Is there
    an annotated autobiography? Popular news sources
    written during her lifetime?
  • Source Scope
  • Comprehensive and specialized are acceptable
  • Comprehensive
  • Marsh, M. Anarchist Women, 1870-1920.
  • Specialized
  • Goldman, E. Living My Life.
  • Wexler, A. Emma Goldman An Intimate Life.

27
Assignment 2
  • Source Identification
  • Books--as she is a historical figure most of the
    information about her will be in books.
  • Periodicals--there may be articles written about
    her in contemporary publications as well as
    copies of primary articles.
  • Reference Materials--because she was a historical
    figure she will be in most encyclopedias, general
    and subject.
  • The Encyclopedia of Women in American History

28
Assignment 2
  • Search Strategy
  • Begin with biographies of Goldman as well as her
    autobiographical writings. Then move to books
    and periodicals that write about her place as an
    anarchist, woman, and social activist.

29
Assignment 3
  • Principal Subject Area
  • Humanities
  • Art History
  • Architecture
  • Related Subject Area
  • Social Sciences
  • Anthropology (Costume Dress)
  • Source Content
  • 1st Choice Scholarlyneed sources that explain
    analyze 18th century French style.
  • 2nd Choice Popularphotographs in periodicals
    (Architectural Digest)

30
Assignment 3
  • Source Level
  • Secondary authors who have written about 18th
    century style, after the 18th century will be
    most prevalent.
  • Primary those who wrote about the 18th century
    while living in it (diaries/letters) also
    paintings of architecture and dress.
  • Source Scope
  • Comprehensive and specialized sources are
    acceptable.
  • Comprehensive
  • Ribero, A. Dress in Eighteenth-Century Europe.
  • Summerston, J. The Architecture of the Eighteenth
    Century.
  • Specialized
  • Delpierre, M. Dress in France in the Eighteenth
    Century.
  • Kalnein, W. Architecture in France in the
    Eighteenth Century.

31
Assignment 3
  • Source Identification
  • Books most of the material will be in books.
  • Periodicals
  • Scholarly journals such as Dress and Eighteenth
    Century Studies.
  • Popular periodicals such as National Geographic
  • Reference Materials some reference sources may
    have articles on famous people, architecture, and
    behaviors of the period.
  • Rococo in Encyclopedia of Interior Design
  • Rococo Style in Encyclopedia Americana

32
Assignment 3
  • Search Strategy
  • Begin with general, comprehensive secondary
    sources that describe elements of 18th century
    style. Then look for specialized secondary
    sources covering specific aspects of the same
    period. Look for visual images that define the
    period.

33
End Part I II
  • I. Develop a research topic
  • II. Form a search strategy

34
III. Identifying, Locating Evaluating
information materials
  • -What specific type of source has the
    information?
  • -Where it is located in the library?
  • -Authority of information source?

35
Identifying, Locating Evaluating information
materials
  • Identifying different types of information
    sources in the Simpson Library
  • Which type is most likely to have the information
    that I want?

36
Types of information materials available in the
Simpson Library
  • Reference Sources
  • Books
  • Periodicals
  • Databases
  • All are accessible via the Library Web
  • The CONTENTS of each may not be electronically
    available

37
Reference Sources
  • Encyclopedias
  • Dictionaries Thesauri
  • Almanacs
  • Yearbooks
  • Handbooks
  • Atlases
  • Indexes

38
Encyclopedias
  • Encyclopedias contain brief overview articles on
    a wide range of subjects. Encyclopedias are
    frequently sets of multiple volumes and may cover
    a broad range of subjects or focus on a single
    subject area.
  • General Encyclopaedia Britannica, Britannica
    Online
  • Subject McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama

39
Subject Encyclopedias
  • Assignment 1
  • -The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre
    Performance
  • -Critical Survey of Drama
  • -Drama Criticism
  • Assignment 2
  • -Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers
  • -Activists, Rebels, and Reformers
  • -Women in World History
  • Assignment 3
  • -The Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion
  • -Encyclopedia of Interior Design
  • -The Dictionary of Art

40
Dictionaries Thesauri
  • Dictionaries Thesauri provide definitions of
    words and phrases. Some include the origins and
    histories of terms. Some include general terms in
    a particular language, whereas others may define
    jargon in a particular field of study.
  • Language dictionaries provide definitions for
    words in multiple languages.
  • Biographical dictionaries give information about
    people's lives and accomplishments.
  • Thesauri identify other words or terms with the
    same or similar meaning.

41
Dictionaries Thesauri
  • Assignment 1
  • International Dictionary of Theatre Plays
  • Assignment 2
  • Larousse Dictionary of Women
  • Assignment 3
  • Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture

42
Almanacs Statistical Sources
  • Almanacs are compilations of facts and statistics
    and in the case of Theatre research can be useful
    to look up statistics related to the arts. Most
    almanacs are updated annually or according to
    another regular schedule.
  • Statistical Sources just include compilations and
    summaries of numeric data.

43
Almanacs Statistical Sources
  • Almanac
  • World Almanac and Book of Facts
  • Statistical Source
  • LexisNexis Statistical.
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States
    2004-2005
  • Statistics available Theatre Attendance and
    Receipts Federal aid to theatres personal
    expenditures on theatre.
  • Available electronically
  • http//www.census.gov/compendia/statab/

44
Yearbooks
  • Yearbooks provide annual updates of current
    events, facts, statistics, new discoveries,
    research or other timely information. Some
    reference book publishers issue yearbooks to
    update and supplement their publications until a
    new editions are available.

45
Handbooks, Manuels Guides
  • Handbooks, manuals, and guides to a field of
    study provide a detailed overview of or a general
    introduction to a subject area.
  • Handbooks are similar to encyclopedias only with
    more in-depth entries.
  • Manuals provide instruction on how to do
    something.
  • Guides to a field of study are designed to teach
    researchers or students about the sources and
    research methodology in the field.

46
Atlases, Gazetteers Guidebooks
  • Atlases, Gazetteers and Guidebooks are
    geographical sources.
  • Atlases are composed primarily of maps but may
    contain additional geographic information.
  • Gazetteers are dictionaries of place names and
    landmarks, both natural and man-made.
  • Guidebooks give important travel and other
    descriptive information about places

47
Indexes, Abstracts Bibliographies
  • Indexes, abstracts and bibliographies provide
    access to books, the contents of periodicals
    (magazines and journals), research reports,
    chapters in books, dissertations, and other
    materials.
  • The majority of people use these types of sources
    to locate periodical articles on a particular
    topic.

48
Indexes, Abstracts Bibliographies
  • Indexes are alphabetical subject-based listings
    of items.
  • Periodical Index (database)
  • Author and Title and Subject access points
  • A single item may be listed under several subject
    headings.
  • Index in a Book
  • Includes the content of that book only
  • Abstracts are indexes that include summaries of
    the contents of the listed materials. These
    summaries are called abstracts as well.
  • -Bibliographies are compilations of sources on a
    particular topic, by a particular author or in a
    particular library collection.
  • Subject Bibliography
  • Author, Title, and broad Subject access points.
  • Unlike an index, entries usually appear once.
  • Bibliography in a book
  • List of sources used to write that book
  • To find other sources on same topic

49
Indexes, Abstracts Bibliographies
  • Assignment 1
  • Index Expanded Academic ASAP
  • Bibliography American Theatre History An
    Annotated Bibliography.
  • Assignment 2
  • Index Expanded Academic ASAP
  • Bibliography Anarchist Thinkers and Thought An
    Annotated Bibliography.
  • Assignment 3
  • Index Expanded Academic ASAP
  • Bibliography Architecture A Bibliographic Guide
    to Basic Reference Works, Histories, and
    Handbooks.

50
Books
  • Generally, scholarly books (as opposed to
    fiction) are either written on a single topic or
    are a collection of many articles, written by one
    or more authors on a single subject.
  • A collection of essays on a subject might be as
    helpful as a single topic book, as it will often
    give different perspectives on the same topic in
    one place
  • Books are shelved by subject. That means that
    books with a similar subject should be next to
    each other on the shelves.
  • However, this may not always be the case, so if
    you do not find more than one book on the same
    subject, do not assume that there are no more, as
    they just may be shelved in another placeunder
    another subject.

51
Books
  • Assignment 1
  • None available
  • Assignment 2
  • Solomon, M. Emma Goldman
  • Watson, M. Lives of Their Own Rhetorical
    Dimensions of Autobiographies of Women Activists.
  • Assignment 3
  • DeLorme, E. Garden Pavillions and the 18th
    Century French Court.
  • Adams, Censer Graham. Visions and Revisions of
    Eighteenth-Century France.

52
Periodicals
  • Journals and magazines are periodicals. This
    means that they are published at regular
    intervals. Both are numbered in volumes which
    correspond to a specific year and most journals
    have issue numbers.
  • A Journal is a scholarly publication in which
    researchers report findings of studies relative
    to a specific field. Most journal articles are
    evaluated by a panel (jury) of experts for
    accuracy and relevance before being published.
  • Magazines are written by a staff of writers for a
    more popular audience and the articles are not
    evaluated by a jury. There are Magazines and
    Journals covering most disciplines.
  • How do you tell the difference?

53
Periodicals
  • Theatre Journals
  • Theatre Journal
  • Modern Drama
  • Theatre Topics
  • Theatre Survey
  • Women in Performance
  • Theatre Magazines
  • American Theatre Magazine
  • Entertainment Design
  • Shakespeare Magazine
  • TDT

54
Assignment 1
  • Journal
  • Gomez-Pena, E-Mael, McKee. Re Group/No
    homeland A Post-9/11 Intercultural Poltergeist.
    TDR, 47(4), 2003.
  • Magazine
  • Shandell, J. Authors! Authors!. American
    Theatre, 22(3), 2005.

55
Assignment 2
  • Journal
  • Falk, C. Emma Goldman Passion, Politics, and
    the Theatrics of Free Expression. Womens
    History Review, 11(1), 2002.
  • Magazine
  • Auleta, B, Goldstone, B. Happy Birthday, Emma.
    Off our Backs A Womens Newsjournal. 1, 1970

56
Assignment 3
  • Journal
  • Riberio, A. The Art of Dress, Fashion in England
    and France 1750-1820. Eighteenth Century
    Studies, 29(4), 1996.
  • Magazine
  • Rosenau, H. Functional the Ideal in late
    Eighteenth-Century French Architecture. The
    Architectural Review, 140, 1966.

57
Databases
  • Free Subscription
  • Free databases are those that anyone can access.
  • Most of the databases available on the web are
    free.
  • Be sure to check the authority of the
    information.
  • The Early Modern Drama Database

58
Databases
  • Subscription databases are those that you can
    only access for a fee, in this case paid by the
    University.
  • Databases are differentiated by
  • Subject scope
  • Citation, Abstract, /or Full-Text

59
Subscription Databases
  • Broad Scope--Arts and Humanities Search
  • Narrow Scope--Decorative Arts
  • Most of the information in these databases is
    compiled from other sources by editors.
  • Basic search and an Advanced search option
  • The basic search is usually just a keyword
    search
  • The advanced search allows very specific searches
    using different search terms.

60
Subscription Databases
  • Broad
  • Art Abstracts
  • NYPL Digital Gallery
  • Project Muse
  • Narrow
  • ARTStor
  • Civil War A Newspaper Perspective
  • English Verse Drama
  • Greenwood Daily Life Online
  • Harp Week

61
Subscription Databases
  • Citation, Abstract, /or Full-Text Indexes
  • A Citation Index only gives you the information
    you need to locate an article the title, author,
    publication, and date. Some Citation Indexs
    also include
  • An Abstract which is a short synopsis of the
    article.
  • A Full-Text Index gives you the citation along
    with the complete text of the article as it was
    originally published.
  • Databases may be any combination of the three.

62
Subscription Databases
  • Citation
  • DRESS IN 18TH-CENTURY EUROPE, 1715-1789 -
    RIBEIRO,A  Author KORSHIN, PJ Source
    EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY STUDIES 21, no. 1 (FAL 1987)
    147-151
  • Abstract
  • DRESS IN 18TH-CENTURY EUROPE, 1715-1789 -
    RIBEIRO,A. Author KORSHIN, PJ Source
    EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY STUDIES 21, no. 1 (FAL 1987)
    147-151. (Book Review)
  • Riberios thesis for her new book is clothes
    played the most vital role in defining man and
    his part in society, to an extent which we cannot
    contemplate today. The book is a development
    of this theme by investigation dress, social
    factors for dress, and the heavy influence of
    French Court society on clothing.
  • Full Text
  • Provide full text copy of the article with
    citation.

63
Subscription Databases
  • Arts and Humanities Search
  • Expanded Academic ASAP
  • Humanities Abstracts
  • Humanities Social Sciences Index Retrospective
    1907-1984
  • Literature Resource Center-LCR
  • Project Muse
  • Citation
  • Full-Text, Abstract, Citation
  • Citation, Abstract
  • Citation
  • Citation, Abstract, Full-Text
  • Citation, Abstract, Full-Text

64
Subscription Databases
  • How do I find which databases we have?
  • Simpson Library Home Page

65
Identifying, Locating Evaluating information
materials
  • Finding materials in the Simpson Library.
  • Library Tour

66
Identifying, Locating Evaluating information
materials
  • Finding different sources in the library
  • using Simpson Library Web Page
  • While you can find all materials electronically
    using the web page, you may not be able to access
    the content of all materials electronically.
  • Finding different sources outside the library
  • Use the WorldCat database
  • Item you want not in the library? Try an
    Interlibrary Loan Request. (Remember no
    guarentee of arrival time)

67
Reference Sources Books
  • Use the library web page to locate Reference
    Sources and Books by title, subject, or author.
  • The catalog will not search the text in either
    source.
  • Netlibrary
  • When you find one book that you like, try finding
    others like it by clicking on one of the
    subject links in the books record.

68
Periodicals
  • Use the databases link from the Library web page
    to access a full-text or citation database to
    locate articles in Periodicals.
  • When you find the title of an article that you
    want, there may be a locate journal article
    link in the citation will let you see if the
    library has a copy of the article available for
    you.
  • The library does not have access to all the
    periodicals included in every database.
  • When you find one article that you like, you can
    also click on a subject link for related
    articles. Even though each database calls the
    subject links something else, they all provide
    that option to search for related articles that
    way.

69
Databases
  • Use the databases link from the library web page
    to find information in a Database, go to that
    database and use the search tools provided.
  • Almost all subscription databases default to a
    keyword search that searches the title, text, and
    subjects of the entry.
  • You may also be able to click on a subject link
    for related articles.
  • Not all databases use the same search techniques.
    If you are having trouble finding information in
    a specific database, then look for a help box
    that will explain how to search the specific
    database using an advanced search.
  • OR see a Reference Librarian.

70
Identifying, Locating Evaluating information
materials
  • Determining which information sources are
    acceptable for your research.
  • Generally an academic library chooses
    authoritative sources offering contrasting
    opinions
  • YOU SHOULD NEVER ASSUME AUTHORITY

71
Identifying, Locating Evaluating information
materials
  • Evaluation of source materials
  • Generic Criteria for Evaluation
  • Stated Criteria for inclusion of information
  • Authority of author(s)
  • Comparability with related sources
  • Stability of information
  • Edited from Tilliman, Hope N. Generic Criteria
    for Evaluation. Evaluating Quailty on the Net.
    March 28, 2004.lthttp//www.hopetillman.com/findqua
    l.htmlgt.

72
Evaluating information Print
  • Criteria
  • The author should tell you why they included and
    excluded what they did.
  • Authority
  • What qualifications merit the author as a source?
    Why is their opinion valid?
  • Comparability
  • How does their scholarship compare to the total
    written on the subject?
  • Are they writing with a bias?
  • Stability
  • Is what they are writing based on established
    research methods?

73
Evaluating information Web Sites
  • Five criteria for evaluating Web pages
  • http//www.library.cornell.edu/olinuris/ref/resear
    ch/webcrit.html
  • Accuracy
  • Authority
  • Objectivity
  • Currency
  • Coverage

74
Evaluating information Web Sites
  • Acceptable
  • British Drama
  • Federal Theatre Project
  • Costume
  • Clothing of the 18th Century
  • The Emma Goldman Papers
  • Questionable
  • Kabuki Theatre
  • Burlesque
  • TheatreHistory.com
  • Historical Boys Clothing
  • Goldman Archive

75
Further Questions?
  • Research Resources by Subject--Simpson Library
  • Reference Librarians
  • Internet Public Library
  • Purdue University's Online Writing Lab
  • UMW - Writing Center
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