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HMST 240 .01Global Perspectives

HMST 240.01

MICA Writing Studio

Writing Studio

The Writing Studio offers one-on-one tutoring sessions, programming, and resources designed to bolster the written and verbal communication skills of MICA students.Tutors can assist students with a wide variety of writing projects, including:

  • Academic papers
  • Personal essays
  • Artist statements
  • Any writing assignment
  • Brainstorming / outlining
  • Thesis development
  • Reviewing a draft
  • Grammar
  • Make an Appointment: Call us at (410) 225-2418 or
  • Location: Bunting Center 452
  • Hours of Operation: Monday through Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Hours subject to change.)

Lisa writing is hard

Lisa Simpson having a hard time

How to select a topic

Finding a Topic

  • Brainstorm
  • Make a list keywords and related topics: Use Mind Mapping or Clustering
  • Make vertical list > leads to Outlining > Organize and Outline further
  • Read general information about topic
  • Read more focused information about topic focusing on critical analysis of resources
  • Write your topic as a Thesis Statement

Mind Mapping example from Word Smiths


Interactive Mind Mapping Tutorial from University of Arizona

Click the image below to start:

Image of tutorial start

Documenting research

Simple steps for Documenting your research and sources:

  1. Give yourself plenty of time
  2. Take notes on what resources you are using
  3. Use My Lists or My Folder functions in the library catalog and the databases
  4. Use tools like Zotero or functions within Microsoft Word
  5. Keep your materials organized
  6. Make notes on whether you are using a quote or paraphrasing


Write an annotated bibliography

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

Consists of 2 parts:

  • Bibliographic citation
  • Annotation
    • Brief summary
    • Evaluate authority/background of author
    • Comment on audience
    • How relates to other sources

The purpose of a list of sources on a topic with notes attached is to give the reader critical analysis and information about the sources as related to as subject.

  • It is not an abstract or summary of the source (book, article, webpage, etc.). 
  • Annotation gives critical analysis of points, relevancy, authority, accuracy, and quality of source. Annotation goes much deeper into examining the source versus just summarizing what was stated.

Helpful Web pages on writing annotated bibliographies:

University of IUPUI

Purdue University OWL

Cardinal Stritch University

Chicago Manual Style Rules and Example

Eastern Nazarene College Sample of Annotated Bibliography

  • The text should be double-spaced.
  • Numbering starts on the first page of writing (not the title page), at the top right of the page.
  • Reference list entries must have a hanging indent (to do this in Microsoft Word 2003, click Format, then Paragraph, then Special, and choose Hanging).
  • There should be 1 inch (2.54 cm) margins all around (top, bottom, left, and right) on each page.
  • Use Times Roman font, or a similar serif font.
  • Each paragraph should be indented using the tab key.

​​ From Eastern Nazarene College

Write a Literature Review

What is a literature review?

  • Not an annotated bibliography

  • List of sources you investigated while researching your topic/thesis (a portion of published literature on your topic)

  • Critique of sources

  • By listing and critiquing other sources and works, you will need to demonstrate who your research fits into the larger study of a topic or how it fulfills a need or missing research for a topic.

Writing the introduction

In the introduction, you should:

  • Define or identify the general topic - provide a context for reviewing the literature.
  • Identify trends in what has been published about the topic; or conflicts in theory, methodology, evidence, and conclusions; or gaps in research and scholarship; or a single problem or new perspective of immediate interest.
  • Establish your reason (point of view) for reviewing the literature; explain the criteria to be used in analyzing and comparing literature and the organization of the review (sequence); and, when necessary, state why certain literature is or is not included (scope).

Writing the body

In the body, you should:

  • Group research studies and other types of literature (reviews, theoretical articles, case studies, etc.) according to common denominators such as qualitative versus quantitative approaches, conclusions of authors, specific purpose or objective, chronology, etc.
  • Summarize individual studies or articles with as much or as little detail as each merits according to its comparative importance in the literature, remembering that space (length) denotes significance.
  • Provide the reader with strong "umbrella" sentences at beginnings of paragraphs, "signposts" throughout, and brief "so what" summary sentences at intermediate points in the review to aid in understanding comparisons and analyses.
  • Not “regurgitating” information.  Assessing and Critiquing

Writing the conclusion

In the conclusion, you should:

  • Summarize major contributions of significant studies and articles to the body of knowledge under review, maintaining the focus established in the introduction.
  • Evaluate the current "state of the art" for the body of knowledge reviewed, pointing out major methodological flaws or gaps in research, inconsistencies in theory and findings, and areas or issues pertinent to future study.
  • Conclude by providing some insight into the relationship between the central topic of the literature review and a larger area of study such as a discipline, a scientific endeavor, or a profession.
  • Develop questions for further research

Material taken from:

Purdue University

University of Washington

University of Wisconsin, Madison


Samwell with a book and quill

Write a prospectus

Prospectus writing from Depart. of Art & Art History, Harvard University

The prospectus should discuss in clear terms -- understandable to all members of the faculty, including those who are not specialists in your field -- the following:

  • The nature of the problem that you intend to undertake.
  • Its importance to the overall field of study in which you are working.
  • A broad review of previous scholarship: who are the main figures who have dealt with this or similar issues? and what, in your opinion, remains to be done?
  • A discussion of the methodologies and materials you anticipate using to tackle your problem.
    • If you foresee any areas of difficulty in gathering the material necessary for the completion of the work, you should also note them.
    • An envisaged schedule of research and writing.
  • A bibliography indicating the works that you have consulted thus far in investigating and defining your topic.
  • It should have a title page

From Harvard University

University of Florida Prospectus Guide

By Susan Hegeman

"A prospectus should answer the following questions:

  • What is the subject of the study? How is the subject defined (is there any special use of terminology or context)? What are the main research questions the study aims to answer?
  • Why is the author addressing this topic? What have other scholars written about this subject, and how is this author's approach, information, or perspective different? What need or gap does this proposed study fill in the scholarly conversation? What new approach to a familiar topic does it propose to offer? What will be the study's original and special contributions to this subject?
  • What are the main sources that will be used to explore this subject? Why are these sources appropriate?
  • What is the proposed organization of the study?
  •  Does the author have any special needs in order to complete this study? In particular, does s/he need funding to travel to archives, gain access to collections, or acquire technical equipment? Does s/he have the special skills (languages, technical expertise) that this project might require?"

From University of Florida

Write or conduct peer-reviewed critiques

Writing a critique from University of Wisconsin Madison

Before you read and while you read the paper

  • Find out what the writer is intending to do in the paper (purpose) and what the intended audience is.

  • Find out what the writer wants from a reader at this stage.

  • Read (or listen) to the entire draft before commenting.

What to include in your critique

  • Praise what works well; give specifics

  • Comment on large issues first (Is there a clear focus? Is the draft effectively organized? Is the sequence of points logical? Are ideas adequately developed?). Go on to smaller issues later (awkward or confusing sentences, style,  grammar, etc.)

  • Time is limited (for your response and for the author's revision), so concentrate on the most important ways the draft could be improved.

  • Comment on whether the introduction clearly announces the topic and suggests the approach that will be taken; on whether ideas are clear and understandable.

  • Be specific in your response and in your suggestions for revision. Explain why you are making such suggestions.

  • Try describing what you see (or hear) in the paper--what you see as the main point, what you see as the organizational pattern.

  • Identify what's missing, what needs to be explained more fully. Also identify what can be cut.

How to criticize appropriately

  • Be honest (but polite and constructive) in your response

  • Don't argue with the author or with other respondents.

From University of Wisconsin Madison


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