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ASJA 125 - Japanese Literature and Society: Resources

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Murasaki Shikibu composing Genji Monogatari (Tale of Genji) by Tosa Mitsuoki (1617-1691).


What are the criteria or characteristics you look for when you decide whether a source is a good one for your paper?


Scenario: you are writing a paper of the Tale of Genji and its influence on contemporary Japanese culture. The following are some sources you have come across in your research. Which would you be most likely to refer to in your paper?

  1. Green, Michelle. "Kyoto Celebrates a 1,000-Year Love Affair." New York Times. January 4, 2009.
  2. Bowring, Richard. "Impact, Influence and Reception." In Murasaki Shikibu: The Tale of Genji, 76-95. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  3. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, s.v. "Tale of Genji," last modified January 27, 2022, 15:59,
  4. Ivanova, Gergana E. "Reading the Literary Canon through Manga in the Twenty-First Century." Japanese Language and Literature 55, no. 1 (2021): 163-179.

Hints on skimming: when you are evaluating a source quickly, you may want to look at the introduction, conclusion and abstract if there is one, look any headings or subheadings within the article, check out the publication or publisher, or Google the author.


Use this poll to rank the sources above according to how likely you would be to cite in a paper.

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Christine Murray
Ladd Library 132
(207) 786-6268

I am usually at the Research Desk Mon. 10-1, Tues. 6-9, and Thurs. 1-4