Course Research Guides
ENGL 109: Writing Seminar (George Shuffelton)
George Shuffelton - Fall 2007
In this guide:
- Getting Started: Online and In the Library
- Finding Articles
- Finding Books
- Evaluating What You Find Online
- Finding Full Text
Use Reference Sources (such as encyclopedias and bibliographies) at the beginning of your research to get an overview of a topic or to identify related terms that will apply to your topic. Later, return to these sources to clarify concepts or define new vocabulary. All of these sources are located in the Reference Collection. Be sure to look for bibliographies, cited references, further reading, or other sections that will point you toward helpful material for your research.
- The New Encyclopaedia Britannica
Reference AE5 .E363 2007
One of the most comprehensive and respected encyclopedias available. The Micropaedia covers smaller topics briefly. The Macropaedia covers larger topics in more depth and includes extensive bibliographies. Use the index to see all the places your topic appears throughout the volumes.
- Encyclopedia of the Developing World
Reference HC59.7 .E52 2006
Each entry has a nice bibliography, so see if any of those cited sources is useful to you.
- Other encyclopedias
Use this special search form to enter the broad subject or subjects under which your topic might fall. Click "Search" and it'll return a list of encyclopedias held at Carleton in the reference area.
- Find Periodicals to Browse
Use this special search form to enter the broad subject or subjects under which your topic might fall. Click "Search" and it'll return a list of journals, magazines, and newspapers that we have here in the library. Remember to look and see where the current issues are shelved (either in the Rookery or in the New Periodicals area).
Also, try some internet searching. I continue to gather useful web resources that are about globalization, and you can see what I've found here. Remember to weigh the value of web pages you find to see what biases they present, who the author/sponsor/publisher is, and how current the information is. And remember, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, so use it like any other encyclopedia: as a starting point that will help you find more in-depth resources.
Remember to try keyword searches, examine the information for relevant looking articles, and collect the subject terms that you find there. Then you can do a combination of subject and keyword searching.
If you should find an article that looks good but does not have the full text attached, click the "Find It" button to see if we have that article elsewhere at Carleton. Here is more information about finding the full text of articles in our databases.
Remember that you can instantly limit most search so that you get only scholarly articles.
- Academic Search Premier
A multi-disciplinary database of scholarly articles, newspaper articles, and magazine articles. "Globalization" is a subject term, but remember that many useful articles may not explicitly say that they're about globalization, so try several searches using different words.
Another multi-disciplinary database of scholarly, newspaper, and magazine articles. This database has many more newspaper sources than Academic Search Premier does. It also does not show the subject headings associated with a record unless you begin with a subject search. You can search the "Topics" section to find these subjects, if you like. "Globalization" is a subject term, but try other words, too.
- LexisNexis Academic
Searches thousands of news sources from around the world. Since the focus of this database is news and magazine sources, don't try to find scholarly articles here. (You can, however, use news sources to point you toward articles or to help you build your vocabulary of search terms.)
Tips: The default "Major U.S. and World Publications" is probably a good place to start, and you can also explore the "News" button up under the red "Search" tab. This News area allows more flexible source selection under, you guessed it: "Select Sources." But remember to tell it that you want "Natural Language" rather than "Terms and Connectors" unless you want to build complicated searches. Also remember that after you do a search, you can use the drop-down box near the top-left side of the result list and the links along the left sidebar to refine your results.
Use Bridge to find books and materials owned by the Carleton and St. Olaf Libraries. You can search Bridge in many ways, such as author, keyword, subject, or title.
Subject searches can be useful for finding books and materials on your topic, but you need to know the correct Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). One strategy for finding the LCSH is to do a simple or advanced keyword search for words that describe your topic. Think about your topic in both broad and narrower terms. Scan the results and look at those records that are relevant to your topic. Examine the LCSH assigned to the item. Revise your search using these headings.
Often, the most useful searches combine keyword and subject searches. You can accomplish this by using the Advanced Search form.
Some subject headings to try:
- Globalization -- Economic Aspects
- Globalization -- Environmental Aspects
- Globalization -- Political Aspects
- Globalization -- Religious Aspects
- Globalization -- Social Aspects
But remember, many topics that are important to globalization will not be labeled "globalization." Try lots of different searches using lots of different words for your topic.
For great information on evaluating web sites, check out Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply and Questions to Ask from the U.C. Berkeley.
Make sure that the information you find is trustworthy.
- See who created or published the book, article, or web page. This is probably the most important technique to test a work's credibility. Can you figure out who is responsible for the content? (If there is no author or publisher listed on a web page, check the URL or a parent cite to see who hosts the material.) If you cannot find the responsible person or group, you may not want to rely on the work. If so, is that person or group qualified to speak with authority about the content?
- Make sure the content fits your needs. Is the content accurate (try seeing if other people have cited the content or if other works support it)? Does the author cite his or her sources so that you can follow his or her research trail? If the topic is time-sensitive, is the content of your source up-to-date?
- Wondering the thing you found counts as a "print" source? Does it look like a journal article or a newspaper article? Look up the information in Ulrich's (Ready Reference Shelf Z6941 .U5 2007). This will tell you if it's a recognized publication and whether or not it is a peer reviewed publication. If it's in Ulrich's, it's a "print" source.
This Research Guide By:
- Iris Jastram
- Reference & Instruc. Librarian for Languages and Literature
- Gould Library 463