English 101 Quick Guide to Library Research

How to get help - visit the Service Desk, Ask Us chat service, library website especially subject guides, make an appointment with a subject librarian

Picking your topic IS part of research - be prepared to let your search results help you adjust the scope of your topic - cute video explains this

Scholarly books

  • All books owned by Robertson Library can be found using the Catalogue or OneSearch Lite, both print and electronic
  • Search Proquest Ebook Central (over 150,000 books)
  • Search EBSCO Ebooks Collection (over 150,000 books, less than 50% overlap with the Proquest collection)
  • Look for books that have "editors", with different authors for each "chapter", a "list of contributors", or a publisher that is a "university press"; should have a "bibliography" or "references" section and usually an "index"
  • Citing a book chapter from an edited book, note two sets of "authors" and two different "titles":
    • MLA: Wiegan, William. "The Non-Fiction Novel." The Critical Response to Truman Capote. Eds. Joseph J. Waldmeir and John C. Waldmeir. Westport, CT: Greenwood P, 1999. 135-142. Print.
    • APA: Martin, E. W. (1978). The theory of care. In A. Ruskin et al. (Ed.), Hazards of primary care in
      aging populations (2nd ed.)
      . Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott.  
  • Edited books examples:


Scholarly articles

  • "peer-reviewed" journals, use articles that have an abstract and references (bibliography)
  • example of a peer-reviewed journal: Mindfulness, August 2016 issue
  • Use OneSearch Lite to find scholarly articles
    • organize the keywords for your topic into concepts, think about synonyms and stemming (you can use this template to help you)
    • use asterisk * for stemming (e.g. canad* ), and combine synonyms with ( OR ) e.g. (corruption OR bribe*)
    • look at the subject tags for more ideas of words and phrases to use - narrow your search by putting SU in front of a subject phrase you've seen used in records
    • use the "peer-reviewed" limiter
    • use the date limiter
    • mouse-over the magnifying glass to see the full abstract
    • use "Full Text Finder" if the full text is not otherwise available
    • add records to blue folder to batch-upload to RefWorks or email them to yourself
  • Specialty databases for specific fields instead of OneSearch Lite, can offer special limiters for that field - ask a librarian for a recommendation or check the subject guides

Government Sources - for topics involving public policy (health, education, law enforcement, international relations, trade, etc.) - look for official government reports, statistics

Links to sites that will help you with MLA and APA citations

RefWorks - advanced tool for formatting citations, generating bibliography

Using Google - evaluating the appropriateness of websites and some useful search tips