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StefDa
19-12-2007, 11:21
I'm doing a paper on China, more specifically CPC (Communist Party of China), and my searches have availed to nothing...

Can you provide a link to a website, which contains rock-solid, concrete fact about the the CPC today, their placement in Chinese politics, their importance in the political system, their amount of power, how much they decide, etc.

Also, I need a link to a summary of decisions made/topics discussed at the 16th National Party Congress.

Can anyone help me? It is due Friday.

The pestilent 1
19-12-2007, 13:20
Eight seconds on Wiki.
Linky (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_party_of_china)

If you are one of the people that insists that Wiki is the devil and can never be right, I point you to the references at the bottom. Use those instead.

TheBigBadWolf
19-12-2007, 13:51
use wikipedia and you will fail, in my university you can look up info but not reference it as it done by people with less knowladge than you. Why dont you use google scholar and get an academic journal

The pestilent 1
19-12-2007, 14:06
use wikipedia and you will fail, in my university you can look up info but not reference it as it done by people with less knowladge than you. Why dont you use google scholar and get an academic journal

Copy and pasting from anything, will make you fail at Uni. :rolleyes:

der_lex
19-12-2007, 14:10
Call me harsh, but this just reeks of laziness to me. Even random google searches can get you some starting points, at least. Wiki is a fine starting point as well, just don't be stupid enough to cite it as a source (as Pesty said, use wiki's own references instead). Or 'gasp' go to your local library and see if you can find anything there.

Again, this is probably rather harsh, but if you can't do your own research on a paper and have to turn to a web forum for help, I think you don't really deserve to pass at all. Doing research is one of the crucial academic skills... one that you obviously haven't picked up yet. Having people doing your work for you will get you nowhere in the end.

salty
19-12-2007, 14:19
use wikipedia and you will fail, in my university you can look up info but not reference it as it done by people with less knowladge than you. Why dont you use google scholar and get an academic journal

Which is why, as the Pestilent1 says, you should use the references at the bottom. If it is properly referenced, it was probably written by someone who knows what they are talking about. The problem with Wikipedia is that even after it has been written properly, any old fool can come along and edit it all over again.

That said, actually just referencing Wikipedia doesn't get you a fail (at Sheffield Hallam at least) if just gets discounted as a disreputable source.

Salty :)

TheBigBadWolf
19-12-2007, 14:33
Which is why, as the Pestilent1 says, you should use the references at the bottom. If it is properly referenced, it was probably written by someone who knows what they are talking about. The problem with Wikipedia is that even after it has been written properly, any old fool can come along and edit it all over again.

That said, actually just referencing Wikipedia doesn't get you a fail (at Sheffield Hallam at least) if just gets discounted as a disreputable source.

Salty :)

Im saying that even the refernces given at the bottom of the pages in wikipedia are not even in proper referencing style. I just said that wikipedia is a good starting point but for god sake if you are writing a paper with web related references then you deserve to fail, as anything you reference coming from the web is usually discredited unless it comes from a text book or journal

salty
19-12-2007, 14:43
Im saying that even the refernces given at the bottom of the pages in wikipedia are not even in proper referencing style. I just said that wikipedia is a good starting point but for god sake if you are writing a paper with web related references then you deserve to fail, as anything you reference coming from the web is usually discredited unless it comes from a text book or journal

Again, that's not entirely true. I just handed in a seminar file with a bibliography consisting of three websites and nine textbooks. Each of the websites was listed under "Key web-links" for the topics in question in the module guide, were written by historians/academics and are thereby viable references.

www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/intro.html
www.anzasa.arts.usyd.edu.au/ahas/conquest_overview.html
www.spanamwar.com

The internet is drowning in utter crap but it is not to be entirely discredited. There are some sites that are of use. [/offtopic]

@ StefDa: That said, you really do need to be careful what you reference from the internet. Unless the sites were specifically mentioned to you by a lecturer for example as being viable, or unless they were written by someone who is a Professor/Dr. at a (real) University then don't use them.

Salty :)

TheBigBadWolf
19-12-2007, 14:47
Again, that's not entirely true. I just handed in a seminar file with a bibliography consisting of three websites and nine textbooks. Each of the websites was listed under "Key web-links" for the topics in question in the module guide, were written by historians/academics and are thereby viable references.

www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/intro.html
www.anzasa.arts.usyd.edu.au/ahas/conquest_overview.html
www.spanamwar.com

The internet is drowning in utter crap but it is not to be entirely discredited. There are some sites that are of use. [/offtopic]

@ StefDa: That said, you really do need to be careful what you reference from the internet. Unless the sites were specifically mentioned to you by a lecturer for example as being viable, or unless they were written by someone who is a Professor/Dr. at a (real) University then don't use them.

Salty :)

As these are all historical events they would be discredited as you should have located them in a textbook and im sure will be pointed out

salty
19-12-2007, 15:05
As these are all historical events they would be discredited as you should have located them in a textbook and im sure will be pointed out

Taken from the module guide for Western Imperialism and the Non-Western World, Level 5, for the assessed seminar file I handed in this morning:

Seminar Question: Why did the Spanish conquest of the America's succeed?

KEY READINGS:
In Learning Centre Key Texts

[List oftext books]

KEY WEB LINK:

[weblink]

OTHER KEY READINGS:

[more books]


So long as you reference them properly in your bibliography and footnotes, web-links are acceptable. The address has to be given so that the validity of the information can be assessed, but so long as it is from a valid source it is perfectly acceptable. I can tell you this as I used web-links for recently graded essays on US power since 1991 and whether or not the political changes in '30's Germany equated to political revolution. Both essays were graded 2:1 level (62% and 65% respectively, 70% being the highest grading boundary) with no problems with footnotes or bibliography other than the fact that I had not included the place of publication.

I have my module files, module guidebook and essays saved as MSWord files if you would like to see them.

The point I am trying to make here is that while it quite possibly varies from University to University, it is not always the case that websites will be discredited as adequate references.

Salty :)

Weagmacht
19-12-2007, 15:18
Im saying that even the refernces given at the bottom of the pages in wikipedia are not even in proper referencing style. I just said that wikipedia is a good starting point but for god sake if you are writing a paper with web related references then you deserve to fail, as anything you reference coming from the web is usually discredited unless it comes from a text book or journal

Again, that's not entirely true. I just handed in a seminar file with a bibliography consisting of three websites and nine textbooks. Each of the websites was listed under "Key web-links" for the topics in question in the module guide, were written by historians/academics and are thereby viable references.

www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/intro.html
http://www.anzasa.arts.usyd.edu.au/a..._overview.html
www.spanamwar.com

The internet is drowning in utter crap but it is not to be entirely discredited. There are some sites that are of use. [/offtopic]

As these are all historical events they would be discredited as you should have located them in a textbook and im sure will be pointed out
TheBigBadWolf, that's a preposterous stance to take, especially in this case, where salty has pointed out that the internet sources that were used have been listed as acceptable for research purposes.

Textbooks have typographical errors and occasional misinformation as well, but they are generally acceptable for use in research.

This is all failing to take into account that in many arenas of research and information-gathering, certain individuals may arrive at different conclusions based on the same information - what then is the proper method of determining credibility? What if, during the course of a research project, you come across two historical analyses, each based on first-hand examinations of documents, interviews, etc., and each reporting different overall impressions? Which is discredited? How do you tell?

Saying that a source is valid only if it can be considered "credible" is a difficult argument to back up. Many christians believe the bible to be a credible source; many wiccans probably do not. Who's right? Once upon a time, credible information said that the world was flat, the earth was the center of the universe, kings were descended from god, man could not fly, space flight was impossible. In each case, things can clearly be proven otherwise, and so the definition of "credible" has changed, as have the methods for determining credibility.

I will agree that a high degree of critical thought should always be directed at internet research, but to condemn it outright with no real justification beyond, "It's got to be a text book, or no dice," is a bit harsh.

As to StefDa's OP, do you have access to databases like Lexis-Nexis? That's a good place for locating a great deal of information. I've used it for research on indie music alongside research for progressive/sustainable HVAC systems in architecture. You'll probably have a good chance of finding something there...

salty
19-12-2007, 15:26
Just for anyone who actually gives a damn, here is the Module Guide for Western Imperialism and the Non-Western World. If you scroll down to where it says IMPORTANT NOTES in large, bold black letters, and read the paragraph beneath, it explicitly states that any published material, including from websites, has to be references properly in your work.

There is also, generally, a list of Key Websites for each lecture/seminar summary, along with a list of Key Texts.

Salty :)

EDIT:

@Weagmacht: Studying history means not explicitly discrediting anyone. History is all about, by its very nature, interpretation. However, for the purposes of a University project, there are usually guidelines on what can and cannot be included. For instance, we were told that any websites given in the module guide or by lecturers could be guaranteed (just about) to be impartial and academic, and thereby reputable as references. As a rule of thumb, we were also told that anything written by a Professor at a University that was posted on the internet was also acceptable. Wikipedia alone, as was previously stated, is not reputable, as anybody can go on and change, for instance, the facts of the Spanish-American War to say that Spain was the aggressor against the USA, or that it was a Spanish frogman that sank the USS Maine (when in fact, in this case, the USA was the aggressor and an accident on-board caused the sinking of the USS Maine). Both of these change the context of the war substantially and would be detrimental to an essay. The links I posted before however, come from accepted sites and were, to my knowledge, written by academics.

TheBigBadWolf
19-12-2007, 17:53
TheBigBadWolf, that's a preposterous stance to take, especially in this case, where salty has pointed out that the internet sources that were used have been listed as acceptable for research purposes.

Textbooks have typographical errors and occasional misinformation as well, but they are generally acceptable for use in research.

This is all failing to take into account that in many arenas of research and information-gathering, certain individuals may arrive at different conclusions based on the same information - what then is the proper method of determining credibility? What if, during the course of a research project, you come across two historical analyses, each based on first-hand examinations of documents, interviews, etc., and each reporting different overall impressions? Which is discredited? How do you tell?

Saying that a source is valid only if it can be considered "credible" is a difficult argument to back up. Many christians believe the bible to be a credible source; many wiccans probably do not. Who's right? Once upon a time, credible information said that the world was flat, the earth was the center of the universe, kings were descended from god, man could not fly, space flight was impossible. In each case, things can clearly be proven otherwise, and so the definition of "credible" has changed, as have the methods for determining credibility.

I will agree that a high degree of critical thought should always be directed at internet research, but to condemn it outright with no real justification beyond, "It's got to be a text book, or no dice," is a bit harsh.

As to StefDa's OP, do you have access to databases like Lexis-Nexis? That's a good place for locating a great deal of information. I've used it for research on indie music alongside research for progressive/sustainable HVAC systems in architecture. You'll probably have a good chance of finding something there...

Hey i dont make the rules thats just my universities stance on web references, they should only be used as a last resort, and if they find out when marking your report that the info could have been got out of a book or a journal you will be marked down for not having adequate references, by the way salty you put your references in a references section, you bibliography is for texts you have read for background information but not used in you text.

der_lex
19-12-2007, 18:05
Your university has a rather old-fashioned stance on things. Although you have to be very careful (as with any source) about the credibility of your web sources, they can be just as valid as textbooks and/or journals, with the added bonus of usually being more readily available...I don't think there's any (ex-) student out there that doesn't know the annoyance of needing one particular book, only to discover that someone already took it out of the library before you got there.

The institute I went to actually stated that you should list at least one or two internet sources on your paper. Then again, I studied applied linguistics and translation, and the internet is a translator's best friend... dictionaries only get updated every so often, but there are numerous online language databases (the European Union's IATE, for example) that are updated almost daily. That and even google is, in its own way, a dictionary of sorts...page hits are an excellent way of finding out whether a new word has become common enough in usage to include it in a translation.

Instead of simply barring all internet sources, I think your university would be better off teaching students how to use them properly.

TheBigBadWolf
19-12-2007, 18:16
Instead of simply barring all internet sources, I think your university would be better off teaching students how to use them properly.


We actually do a whole module called research and communications, as i said there is nothing wrong with using them as a last resort, hey i have to use web sources sometimes as my course is in a new and expanding field so there is not many textbooks and journals on the subject so web sources are ok within reason as in your case, but for a well documented subject like history, you have all the papers and books in the world to use and they are not hard to get hold of

Weagmacht
19-12-2007, 18:24
@ salty - True enough re: wiki-"historians" who tweak articles for their own fun. However, there's a lot of instances where alternate histories can run in parallel and be equally valid depending on the frame of reference. For instance, look at the Russian historical accounts of World War II - Russian history refers to this as the "Great Patriotic War." The Vietnam Conflict (as the politically correct members of the US refers to it) is also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam it is also called the American War, or "Resistance War against the Americans to Save the Nation." Admittedly, this has a lot to do with suppression or promotion of information on the part of the governing bodies of all parties involved. History is written by those in power, right? Not disagreeing with you, but it is interesting to consider how cultural/geographical/ideological/ethical perspective can influence "credible history," among other things, no? ;)

@TheBigBadWolf - I thought that might be the case. Your university's policy definitely encourages a thorough approach to research, but I fear it might fail to take into account the advantages of proper internet sources used correctly. For example, lots of textbooks used in research are subject to becoming out-of-date or obsolete in terms of their content, an issue that can be easily remedied without excessive cost via electronic databases/articles.

der_lex makes an excellent point about availability of sources as well, although many reference books and journals (periodicals) are often kept in the library on a very firmly permanent basis - you have to be at the library/repository to make use of them. I know that even when I tried to acquire books and other materials way ahead of time, I almost invariably found that at least one of the sources I wanted to use was checked out, at another library, or both. :wtf:

Anyway, I guess that there's not necessarily an issue here of whether the internet can yield a credible information source, but instead whether institutional policy will validate the source in question.

TheBigBadWolf
19-12-2007, 18:28
@TheBigBadWolf - I thought that might be the case. Your university's policy definitely encourages a thorough approach to research, but I fear it might fail to take into account the advantages of proper internet sources used correctly. For example, lots of textbooks used in research are subject to becoming out-of-date or obsolete in terms of their content, an issue that can be easily remedied without excessive cost via electronic databases/articles

Electronic databases are excellent thats what i mean by obtaing journals at my university we have an extensive electronic database of academic journals that are free to download and constantly updated

Weagmacht
19-12-2007, 18:41
Electronic databases are excellent thats what i mean by obtaing journals at my university we have an extensive electronic database of academic journals that are free to download and constantly updated
Aha. That makes a lot more sense.

Those databases quickly became my best friend at college for research papers. I had a tendency to get really sleepy at the library - horribly drab inside that place. :rolleyes:

StefDa
19-12-2007, 18:56
Call me harsh, but this just reeks of laziness to me. Even random google searches can get you some starting points, at least. Wiki is a fine starting point as well, just don't be stupid enough to cite it as a source (as Pesty said, use wiki's own references instead). Or 'gasp' go to your local library and see if you can find anything there.


I found six books, plus the book we've used in History and Social Class.


Again, that's not entirely true. I just handed in a seminar file with a bibliography consisting of three websites and nine textbooks. Each of the websites was listed under "Key web-links" for the topics in question in the module guide, were written by historians/academics and are thereby viable references.

www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/intro.html
www.anzasa.arts.usyd.edu.au/ahas/conquest_overview.html
www.spanamwar.com

The internet is drowning in utter crap but it is not to be entirely discredited. There are some sites that are of use. [/offtopic]

@ StefDa: That said, you really do need to be careful what you reference from the internet. Unless the sites were specifically mentioned to you by a lecturer for example as being viable, or unless they were written by someone who is a Professor/Dr. at a (real) University then don't use them.

Salty :)

Thank you, that's exactly my problem; Wikipedia is a no-no, specifically stated by my teachers.


As to StefDa's OP, do you have access to databases like Lexis-Nexis? That's a good place for locating a great deal of information. I've used it for research on indie music alongside research for progressive/sustainable HVAC systems in architecture. You'll probably have a good chance of finding something there...

I don't even know what that is... :/

Weagmacht
19-12-2007, 19:04
Well, does a library near you have access to online databases? There's several. Lexis-Nexis is one, EBSCO is another, there's loads of them and some actually specialize in different areas of research. I would wager you'd impress a teacher or two if you showed up with a paper referencing EBSCO articles or the like.

Also re: Wikipedia, just don't use the wiki article. Check out the references, and see about aquiring information in those items.

Neknoh
19-12-2007, 19:10
There is a reason some high-school educations have something called TOK (Taken from the IB Diploma programe), and it is all in order to better evaluate and criticise sources. Furthermore, the IBO, which aims to be as close to university-level studies as possible whilst keeping (although not always) realistic expectations on their students are perfectly fine with internet sources as well as personal interviews, as long as you give the exact date of your visit and you also include them in your source evaluation (which should be an evaluation covering most of your sources). If the IBO is ok with online sources, I'd say most universities are ok with said sources as well.

As for the search, it might actually be very difficult to find something on google, or even find online records of anything like it that have a somewhat neutral stance, I noticed that when preparing my extended Essay, sources simply weren't availeable without actually buying printouts of the scientific articles and journals, said printouts would've taken well over two weeks to arrive as well. So, check Wiki's sources and see if they are anything to use, if not, then I'd suggest looking for old essays and research articles and check those sources, but for the love of all that is knowledge, do NOT cite Wiki or essays as refferences!

salty
19-12-2007, 22:40
We actually do a whole module called research and communications, as i said there is nothing wrong with using them as a last resort, hey i have to use web sources sometimes as my course is in a new and expanding field so there is not many textbooks and journals on the subject so web sources are ok within reason as in your case, but for a well documented subject like history, you have all the papers and books in the world to use and they are not hard to get hold of

Again, not entirely true. Internet sources are useful for finding the latest opinions on certain issues (such as, for example, something as modern as US power since 1991), are often more readily available, and are equally as useful as textbooks. Furthermore, a University library that does not specialise in one subject, and thus has competing subjects for its budget, cannot supply absolutely everything needed to all students at once. Sheffield Hallam University has a large and extensive library and resource centre, but there are some things that are not available, or as Der-lex said, have already been booked out by someone else.

What is more, the internet is becoming more widely used to disseminate academic articles and such, and is likely to do so more often in the near future.

Salty :)

Dodgy Ed
21-12-2007, 11:32
Agreed; the web need not be a last resort for info. Often the first site I go to is JSTOR.org, which is an online repository of acadaemic journals, or failing that use google scholar (best when you have an Athens password).