What Should Italian Majors Know?
By the time of their graduation all majors in Italian language and literature should understand how literary scholars conduct research and how they then communicate the results of their work to colleagues. One way of describing this process is “information literacy” – i.e., the ability to conceptualize what literary information is needed combined with the skills necessary to locate, evaluate, and effectively and ethically use this information (please refer to the final section of this page).
Students who have taken writing intensive classes should already have learned the following skills:
These skills may be regarded by all students as a base for further study. Help is available through the Neilson Library Reference Department's Ask a Librarian options.
Students should build upon this base by applying and expanding their information skills:
|Call Number in Neilson|
|Dictionary of Literary Biography||ref PN 451 .D53|
|Dizionario biografico degli Italiani||ref CT 1123 .D5|
|Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism||ref PN 81 .J55 2005|
|Oxford Companion to Italian Literature||ref PQ 4006 .O84 2002|
|La Piccola Treccani (12 volumes)||ref AE 35 .P53 1995|
|LIZ (Letteratura Italiana Zanichelli) CD-ROM database of primary sources for Italian literature||reserve PQ 4201 .L47 2001
+ PQ 4201 .L47 2001 guide
|Standard scholarly contemporary and historical Italian language dictionaries|
|Resources||SCL Website Locations|
|Five College Library Catalog
and the WorldCat database
|MLA International Bibliography
and the JSTOR full text database
|1. Italian subject page: Italian / Articles
2. A-Z list: Research / Databases by Title
3. Libraries homepage Quick Search (type MLA Bibliography)
4. Research / Find Articles page (for JSTOR)
Advanced Italian majors at the seminar level should be able to:
In Which Classes Should Students Learn These Skills?
|Beginning||By “beginning Italian majors” we mean students enrolled in Italian 250, a Survey class on Medieval and Renaissance literature, and in La Dolce Vita, a class looking at different aspects of Italian cultural tradition.|
|Advanced||By "advanced Italian majors" we mean students enrolled in ITL 331/332 (the year-long course on the Divine Comedy), or in senior seminars and the cinema course.|
In What Ways Will Student Skills be Assessed?
Students completing work on a paper at the 200 level should submit a bibliography in which primary and secondary sources listed reflect the use of the online catalog, at least some scholarly journals through the use of MLA International Bibliography. Students should be prepared to defend the credentials of authors cited if asked.
In 300 level seminars in Italian students should routinely cite both supportive and oppositional arguments from primary and secondary sources in papers including book reviews or other articles found through the use of footnotes or citation indexes. The seminar paper might include an annotated bibliography in which students are asked to indicate the source of their citation and its relative value to the argument within the paper.
An 'ethical use of information' means to make a clear distinction between received knowledge and the production of new knowledge. The incorporation of the work of others into his or her own must comply with such distinction. Therefore, every written and/or oral work in the discipline must clearly state its source, if it has any.
February 10, 2006