1. Start with the information provided in tertiary sources!
2. Mine the bibliographies and footnotes in other secondary sources. You may find one secondary source that is not quite right for your project; however, it may cite another scholarly source that would be just right!
3. When searching Primo or a database, pay attention to the subject headings in your results. You can use the vocabulary or click to do a new search for that heading. You'll be surprised at what you discover this way!
4. Select the best sources, not just the most convenient sources. This may mean requesting a book from SUMMIT and/or an article from interlibrary loan, both of which take about two to five days to arrive.
Always use the advanced search interface and some combination of the following techniques to increase the effectiveness of your searches:
|Search Technique||What It Does|
|quotation marks||Searches for exact phrase|
|Truncation (usually an *)||Searches for all forms of a word|
|Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)||Lets you broaden or narrow your search|
|Database thesaurus or index||Allows you to pinpoint the exact indexing terms the database uses|
Here are some examples in action:
When reading a citation, break it down into parts. Check out the color-coded example below:
Hamilton, Caroline V. "The Erotic Charisma Of Alexander Hamilton." Journal Of American Studies, vol. 45, no.1, 2011, pp. 1-19.
Author. Article Title. Journal Title, Volume, Issue, Year of Publication, page numbers.
Tip: The most common pitfall of reading citations is mixing up the article and journal titles. Remember when searching Primo to find out if we have access to an article: it will be most efficient to search for the journal title.
Tipasa is linked to your library account so you'll need to log in to use it.
Once you are logged in, either go directly to Tipasa and manually enter the information, or, if you're using a database, look for a shortcut link to automatically fill out the form, like this:
Allow at least a week for the article to come. If your article is delivered in electronic format, you'll receive an email with a link to follow as soon as it's arrived.
There are several databases from which to choose when you are seeking scholarly work. For this course, most of you will want to start your search with MLAIB (literature and linguistics) or America: History & Life (U.S. and Canadian history). Always make sure that you've selected the most appropriate database to search!
The databases listed below are examples of multidisciplinary finding aids.
Note: If you need discipline-specific resources, it is better to use the recommended subject databases under the "articles" tab in the library subject guides.
This subject guide highlights only a small portion of the many resources available to you. If you're not finding what you need, don't hesitate to contact Katy!