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ENG2210 Composition & Literature

Help with researching the human motivation/love paper.

Researching the Human Motivation/Love Paper

You are not alone!

It is common for students to request help when they research for this paper.
Here is the bad news: You will probably not find an article that makes your case for you.
Here is the good news: You should find articles that will SUPPORT your case.

The following are some tips to help you with the research for this paper. Let's get started ...

Thesis Statement - define your case before you search

For this assignment, you need to present your case for why [phileo, eros, storge] love is the most influential love and set out the reasons why this is so. Put your reasoning into statements with strong keywords that describe those reasons (e.g. media influence, divorce rate, intact families, gang culture, etc.).

Pre-Search - before the research

If you are not sure about the case you want to make, do some "pre-search" and reading to get ideas. Use a research database like ProQuest to pre-search the type of love that is the focus of your paper. See the section below on Keywords for suggestions to find articles for phileo, eros, and storge that might lead you to articles that might give you ideas.

Keywords - how to search for Greek terms in English

Use words in your search that describe current examples of the type of love you are researching. For instance, use the English equivalent of phileo, eros, or storge - "brotherly love or friendship" instead of phileo, "romantic or sexual love" instead of eros, "family or filial love" instead of storge. (Eros is a bit different since you might actually find articles using the word eros.) The Greek words do not get a lot of usage in the literature. Some suggestions for this type of terminology are presented in your class presentations for the different loves, so go back and review the appropriate presentation if needed.

Create a Search Statement - combine the love with influence(s)

What kind of motivations and/or consequences of actions are you talking about? What examples in history or modern culture can you think of that represent the influence of this love? Are there statistics that you might locate that support your case? Write these down and start using them as keyword searches along with the words that represent the type of love.

For instance, the eros examples would then look something like this as search statements in the Basic Search box of ProQuest:

 Search #1: ("romantic love" OR passion) AND "media influence"

Search #2: beauty AND "media influence"

Can you think of others?

The Process

You may find one really good article and then you can use the descriptors, subject headings, and other links found in the bibliographic record to create additional searches and find "others like this." This is what research looks like. It is normal to do some exploratory pre-search to further define your thesis statement before actually searching in earnest for articles that support your thesis statement. It is normal for the research process to take a fair amount of time. It is normal for the research process to be iterative.

Databases to Search

Using the ProQuest database is a good choice. You might also try searching ATLA Religion, PsycINFO, or our other databases. Our research databases can be found at > A-Z Database Link. From there you can get lists of our databases using the subject dropdown menu (databases will be grouped by subject area) or the alphabet letters (databases will be grouped alphabetically).