English 669: Methods and the Profession
Assignment 2
Dr. Morillo

 Assignment Two: Reading and Evaluating Graduate-level and Professional Abstracts


Due in class, printed out on paper, on Wednesday, September 13

Research scholars need to know how to find and save abstracts, those quick summaries of academic and professional arguments. Online databases have made this a much faster process. Some of the top journals in both literature and languages and rhetoric and composition publish short abstracts with every essay, and you'll be using those plus the current standard database for all collected dissertation abstracts, ProQuest.


You will retrieve and reprint 5 abstracts of the following kind: 2 from PMLA from the last 10 years.


The 3rd and 4th abstracts you save and reprint will be abstracts of dissertations from the last 10 years, found in the ProQuest database.


The 5th and final abstract will be from any scholarly journal of your choice that interests you and prints abstracts with its articles.

When you have chosen and reprinted 5 abstracts, precede each entry
precede your entry with: the author’s full name, title of the article/essay abstracted, and the title, volume number (or volume and issue number if the journal uses both), date of publication, and inclusive pages. You do not need to cite the database from which the article and abstract came. We will treat this as a print citation. Use current MLA 8th ed. entry form.  Here’s an example of an entry:


Kincaid, Jamaica. “In History.” Callaloo, vol. 24, no. 2, Spring 2001, pp. 620-26.


Select from these whichever one of the 5 reprinted abstracts 2 of them to write about: the one you think is best, most effective, and the one you think is worst. For each of these two, explain your evaluation.

You will write one paragraph of evaluation for the one you think best, one for the one you think worst. Try to be concise, critical, fair, and explanatory. You are only writing about 2 of the 5 abstracts.


You will turn in, printed out on paper, 5 published abstracts and 2 brief written evaluations of the best and worst ones (via copy/paste into a single word file) All abstracts  can be single-spaced. Please double space your evaluative paragraphs. Follow all instructions below.



All parts of the assignment must be completed to pass.

Instructions to Access Library Databases:

1) SAVE to your own word file TWO abstracts of articles in Publications of the Modern Language Association (PMLA)

How to retrieve TWO abstracts from PMLA


2) SAVE to your own word file TWO Abstracts of dissertations in ProQuest Dissertations


 How to retrieve 2 abstracts from ProQuest


3) for each of your 5 abstracts saved, compile into a single word/text  file all FIVE saved abstracts plus your two one-paragraph reviews of the best and worst ones, print out the file, and hand it in when due