In this assignment you will learn to make better use of the searches you can conduct using Google and other searchers.

In this assignment you will learn to make better use of the searches you can conduct using Google and other searchers.

Subject: Food Commodity


Format: MLA

Number of sources: 11

Number of pages: 2

Spacing: double spaced

Topic: Food Bibliography

Details: The purpose of this assignment is to better your research skills and your knowledge of modern food systems. You will select a food commodity and research the origin of the food and how it enters a world market and reaches your or someone else’s dinner plate.

In this assignment you will learn to make better use of the searches you can conduct using Google and other searchers. You will gather the “best of” what you find and assemble these in a short report. The report will take the form of a bibliography. Your best findings will appear in alphabetical order of the author’s last name. You should have ten or more sources in your bibliography. We will conduct an advanced search in class. All your sources should be online PDF files!

First you have to pick a food commodity. Here are some suggestions: pineapples, coffee, wheat, bananas, soy beans, corn, sorghum, rice, mangos, kiwi fruit, salmon, grass-fed beef, potatoes, tuna, olives, tea, chocolate, vanilla, sugarcane. It should be relatively easy to research and have to do with agriculture and food markets. This is not technical or advanced research. Avoid those sources if yu would not read them.

Second you want to organize your preferences. For example, you can conduct a search of government documents relating to Monsanto soybeans like this: Go to Advanced Search in Google. It’s a well-kept secret: (Links to an external site.).This is the top of the Advanced Search page.

Google Advanced Search page.png

Here you can specify what it is you want to find in the subject.
I put in all the words I want searched (in no particular order).
Then (in this case) I specified the “Yirgacheffe” as a “must have” in the search. This means I am looking for sites that feature articles on the types of Ethiopian coffee known as “Yirgacheffe”. This means that the search will only find documents or where the exact word or phrase appears.
Then I added any of the words, “shade-grown, coop, fair-trade, organic” (in no particular order).
And finally, I added “search domain” that ends in .edu. Now only higher education websites will be searched. Then I specify that I want PDF files only. This greatly narrows my search to university publications that are written on Yirgacheffe coffee.

Third, The resulting search will be only of university documents that mention coffee, export, Ethiopia and must have Yirgacheffe. This is what the top hits look like:


All are PDF files. That’s good. From this list you would select the ones that seem to address your interest in the aspects of Ethiopian coffee exports as this relates to the concerns for sustainability in the global market for the Yirgacheffe type. You should click on each one and take a look. Your criterion should be “Would I read this?” You are more likely to read non-technical papers.

At the top is this search is the entry:

About 64 results (0.51 seconds)

[PDF]the case of ethiopian coffee farmers cooperatives (Links to an external site.)…

by Y KODAMA – ‎2007 – ‎Cited by 45 (Links to an external site.) – ‎Related articles (Links to an external site.)

Key Words: Coffee; Cooperative; Ethiopia; Fairtrade; Yirgacheffe. … control. Coffee, which accounts for half of the value of Ethiopian exports(2), is a typical global …

Do not copy and paste the Google search results as they appear above. Click on the link and then…

Do not use bibliographic software as a short cut. These use unintelligible codes and do not list sources.

The actual URL of the paper is: (Links to an external site.) Copy that from the URL bar and paste it into your entry in a Word File.
On the first page copy the info: title, date, author, published by. We now want to enter what is the first paper in the huge PDF file. That is:
Kodama title page.jpg

This one has all our key words and the correct info for a bibliographic entry. This is known as the APA style. Author, year, “title” source, (and institution) page number. (It also has an abstract, which is a bonus since it allows you too see what the article is about without having to read it.) Finally paste the URL and add the date accessed.

Kodama, Yuka, 2007, “New Role of Cooperatives in Ethiopia: the case of Ethiopian farmers cooperatives”, African Study Monographs, Suppl.35: pp 87-108, (Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO) (Links to an external site.) (file accessed 9-21-16)

Repeat the opening of each PDF (or the ones where you like the title). Now you should have a document that looks like a list of your best findings. You need only find ten. Use the advanced search for many themes within your chosen food commodity topic. Pick papers that you would understand if you read them in their entirety. Avoid technical reports or overly-specialized sources.

PDF files
Domains that end in .edu

The latter two can limit your search to university sources only or if you stipulate .org, you will get many non-profits advocating for fair traded coffee. Avoid using returns in the entry. Use a soft return for the URL line. This will allow you to alphabetize the list keeping each entry intact.

Please see: (Links to an external site.) to see how to organize different sources. If we were not limited to PDF files, your sources could be:

A book written by one or more people

A book edited by one or more people

An article published in a scholarly journal

A chapter in a book written by one or more people but published by an editor

An article appearing in a newspaper or magazine

An article appearing online

A film made by a filmmaker and released by a distributor and or producer(s?).

A radio broadcast on a news show or podcast.

An occasional paper, monograph or report.

A government document.

All sources have to have an author, even if the author is an organization or a government agency.

All sources should have a year. If you can’t find the year in the PDF file, enter the date accessed online after the URL. If there is no date on the PDF file, simply put (no date) after the authors.

All sources should have a URL and access date.

All books should have a publisher and a city where published. You can look these up from your Google search on Amazon to get the book details.

Here are a few examples of how to cite online sources in APA format.

An Article with DOI assigned. (In our case, these will not work since they are not links)

An Article from an Online Article Database – with no DOI assigned (Note: must look up URL of journal’s web site)

Caspi, A., Chajut, E., & Saporta, K. (2008). “Participation in class and in online discussions: Gender differences”. Computers & Education, 50(3), 718‐724. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

An Article from an Online Periodical – with no DOI assigned

Yi, K. (2003). “Can vertical specialization explain the growth of world trade?” Journal of Political Economy, 111(1), 52‐102. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

An Article from an Online Newspaper or News Service

Helft, M. (2008, July 22). “Yahoo deal wards off proxy fight”. The New York Times. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

An Online Book

Rookes, P., & Willson, J. (2005). Perception: Theory, development and organisation. London: Routledge.
Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

A Professional or Personal Web Site

Hurst, C., & Otis, R. (2008). Carol Hurst’s children’s literature site. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

An Online Government Publication

U.S. Department of State. (2008, January). Background note: Czech Republic. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)


Image preview for in this assignment you will learn to make better use of the searches you can conduct using Google and other searchers.

In this assignment you will learn to make better use of the searches you can conduct using Google and other searchers.


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