Writing about Music Lesson Plan: Sources

Lesson Plan on Sources
Emily Wilbourne, Queens College, CUNY, Music
Music 121 or 122

 Lesson objective(s): Students will think about the various types of academic sources within the context of their own research project.

Total estimated time: 30 minutes.

Additional outcome(s): This can be a useful pre-cursor to an annotated bibliography, or as part of the preparation for a research project.

Course work or assignment underway: A major piece of writing (any) or an annotated bibliography.

Work and/or reading completed before class: N/A

Sequence of Classroom Activities:

  1. Review Gordon Harvey’s topology of source types (3 mins):

    Sources:  persons or documents, referred to, summarized, or quoted, that help a writer demonstrate the truth of his or her argument.  They are typically sources of (a) factual information or data, (b) opinions or interpretation on your topic, (c) comparable versions of the thing you are discussing, or (d) applicable general concepts.  Your sources need to be efficiently integrated and fairly acknowledged by citation.

  2. Use Harvey’s categories as a framework to generate possible materials for the project under way. If students have already prepared a list of sources they should sort them according to this system.

    Students should generate a list of possible material that might exist in each of these categories that they haven’t yet found. (10 mins of individual work).

  3. Return to the group for a discussion of the exercise. (10 mins). With the individual topics in mind, are there categories that seem difficult to locate material for? Have the class brainstorm information that might exist out there for students who are stuck.
  4. Consider how each student would go about actually tracking down the hypothetical new sources that have been suggested. What are the search terms that they might need to put in to the databases? What other approaches might prove fruitful? (7 mins)

Reflection on the lesson’s success or alternative approaches:

Are there other categories that might prove more pertinent?

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