How to use this page
These notes contain additional suggestions about how you might proceed to best use the resources outlined in this class guide. They presume familiarity with the general concepts and information addressed in the other tabbed pages of the guide.
A research trajectory
- Decide text/topic you are interested in writing about -- at least preliminarily.
- Review the suggested resources section, below, and the Resources tab.
- Select a resource whose content matches the kind of materials you are seeking to find and whose disciplinary focus maps to your topic (meaning publications in that field are likely to be writing about it). Or...choose an interdisciplinary database.
- Search isolated resources to see what others have written on your topic, or what others are writing about that might suggest further topical focus.
- Select promising results to examine closely. Remember to note any information you may need if you end up citing them.
- find books on your topic
- find the periodicals you've already identified as having articles on your topic
- find encyclopedias to get background information
Article databases (by SUBJECT)
- identify article and essay content on your topic
- identify current research
- identify research focused on an aspect of a topic
- search for publications from a specific discipline
- literature, psychology, film studies, history, etc.
- MLA is a recommended database for literary criticism
- citation database / no full text
- use UC-eLinks to locate result text
Article databases (GENERAL)
- often have popular sources (magazine & news) as well scholarly
- how to limit to scholarly results (should you want to)
- Academic Search Complete is one recommended resource
- popular and scholarly content (good for popular culture topics)
- some results available online
- has UC-eLinks feature
- Google Scholar is one recommended resource
- strength is scholarly journal literature
- Use UC-eLinks to get full text
- Enable UC-eLinks to display (use Scholar Preferences > Library links)
- JSTOR is one recommended database
- scholarly journals
- full text resource
- use advanced search mode (to narrow to specific discipline)
Encyclopedias (subject encyclopedias)
- background on topic | biographical information on practitioner in field
- Link path = Library homepage > Electronic Resources > Subject > then review the left sidebar menu to see if there is a link to encyclopedias
...Literature > encyclopedias > Literature Resource Center
- good for brief biography of literary authors
- Use Person Search (results in tabs - see biographies)
A few search tips
- Recommended Tips for searching databases (also consider limiting by language)
- Catalog searching (for books about a topic)
- search 2 or 3 terms representing key concepts of your focus
- try different combinations of term, synonyms, related terms
- look at the record for a relevant result -- does its subjects suggest other search terms
- try adding the term criticism for literary analysis
- try adding terms for specific types of materials: encyclopedias, biographies...
Sample keyword searches...
france and history and class
capitalism and material*
kubrick and criticism
eugene o'neill and biography
- Limit by language - use modify search button
- Limit by material type - change default search of Entire Collection
to seach by type or location -- i.e. Films/Videos
- If your search is too broad - use Modify button for available limits