Skip to main content

ENGL 374: Literature and Environment: Getting Started

Start Your Research at the Library!

Use this guide to get started with your research for ENGL 374: Literature and Environment

 

             Animal's People                    Oil on Water                       

Some Advice from Your Friends in the Library

Please DO:

  • Start Early! Work on your project consistently, so that we can answer your questions when you still have sufficient time to thoughtfully revise your work.
  • Seek out a variety of sources: books, essays in books, journal articles.
  • Use a variety of search tools: Primo, multiple databases, sometimes even Google Scholar.
  • Keep careful notes on all of your sources.  If an online knowledge management tool like Zotero or RefWorks is not for you, make sure that any system that you do use is thorough.
  • Contact a librarian whenever questions arise. Quick questions can be answered via email; more in-depth questions can be handled best with an appointment.

Start with an Idea

Begin your research with an idea and then brainstorm possible aspects and angles. 

Use a concept map to help you organize your thoughts. Concept maps are a tool to help you:

  • explore your topic;
  • discover possible lines of inquiry;
  • consider search terms;
  • brainstorm resources to investigate.

Ask yourself: what do I already know about my topic? what am I curious about? what kind of data do I need, and where am I likely to find that data?

From a disciplinary perspective, think about what kind of questions scholars and experts in that discipline are interested in, and how they would ask those questions or measure their findings. 

The process is simple: start with a subject in the center, then:

  • In the space around the central concept, write words or phrases for any relevant subtopics.
  • For each of your focus subtopics, add related terms/concepts to your map.

 

Humanities Librarian

Katy Curtis's picture
Katy Curtis
Contact:
Office: Collins Library 140
253.879.3672

Related Subject Guides