We’ve put together this page to provide you with some tips and information about the kinds of research and writing you might be assigned in the Department's classes. If you have any questions, please contact a member of the faculty.
Click on any of the following links or simply scroll down to review the material on this page.
The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (ed. Gibaldi) is the definitive style guide when it comes to writing about literature and language. The MLA format for working with, quoting, and citing sources is frequently used in language and literature classes at Benedictine. If you are majoring in either Spanish or literature, you may wish to purchase this manual (available at the campus bookstore and at most online and bricks-and-mortar bookstores). Copies can also be found in the reference section of the Benedictine library (note that these do not circulate).
Good citation practices can help you to avoid plagiarism, a form of academic misconduct that can jeopardize your course grades and college career. Plagiarism refers to the deliberate or inadvertent misrepresentation of another person's ideas and/or writing as your own.
The Department of Languages and Literature adheres to the Benedictine University policies on academic honesty and expects that all written work submitted in its classes will be the original work of the writer.
Assignments for many literature and foreign language classes often will require the use of research materials such as books, journal articles, or on-line resources. You may want to use either primary or secondary sources that are not available on campus. Below are some resources for effective research; remember, this process takes time. If you wait until the last minute, you may not find what you need.
Though online research has become simpler and more practical in recent years, many online materials are still of poor quality, and some are frankly bogus. Materials housed at universities (i.e., those with a URL ending in .edu) tend to be more reliable. Be wary of sites that include student-authored materials, since these are sometimes posted as examples without having been edited or corrected.
As a general rule, online sources used for papers should be restricted to primary texts or detailed research (i.e., historical sources) from reputable sites. General reference works such as Wikipedia or dictionaries are typically not suitable as sources for most assignments. These materials are best regarded as providing a starting point for your own research; as such, they should not be used as secondary sources in your writing, unless your instructor gives you permission to do so.
Note that material found online is subject to the same citation and plagiarism rules that apply to other references (see above).
The English Language & Literature faculty recommend the following online resources as particularly useful for literature majors. (Remember: online research should supplement library research, not substitute for it!).
General English Language & Literature resources
Period- and theme-specific English Language & Literature resources
The members of the Spanish language faculty recommend the following resources for students studying Spanish.
Poetry is a way of looking at
the world for the first time.
– W.S. Merwin