This class activity can take between 20-60 minutes. It introduces the frame "Scholarship as a Conversation" by playing with the analogy that developing a reference list is like deciding who to invite to a dinner party: you want the participants to have some things in common, but to have things to disagree about, too.
As part of the research process, students need to learn how to organize and synthesize their sources. This short lecture, followed by a matrix outline given to every student, gives students the opportunity to focus their research question even more and to add their own ideas to the conversation of research within their chosen topic.
How do your sources relate to each other and to your ideas?
This handout asks students to think about type of source, how a source relates to their ideas and how sources relate to one another. You can use this handout in class with sources a student just found or as an out of class assignment.