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ALC 205: Introduction to East Asian Literature: Finding Secondary Scholarly Sources

What's a scholarly secondary source?

A secondary source in general is a work that reports on or interacts with a primary source or collection of primary sources.  A scholarly secondary source is a work that includes an argument or interpretive claim, written by someone with expertise in that field, which has undergone a process of peer-review by other experts.  A scholarly secondary source can be:

  • An article published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • An essay in a collection edited by a scholar or group of scholars.
  • A monograph (a thesis-driven, book-length treatment of a topic)

For your annotated bibliography you need three secondary scholarly sources that, when considered together, provide multiple perspectives on your literary work.

PRIMO

PRIMO is the best search tool for identifying books (including essay collections) on your chosen literary work, whether they are ebooks or print books available in Collins Library or from one of our partner SUMMIT libraries.   PRIMO also can help you find book reviews and selected articles.

Tip:  Books requested from another SUMMIT library can take up to a week to arrive, so plan ahead!

PRIMO Search Tips

  • Use the "Advanced Search" option.
  • Do a subject search on the title of the literary work you are researching; this will ensure that the results are about the work, not the work itself.
  • Search by the English translation of the title AND the transliteration of the Chinese or Japanese title.
  • If you can't yet read academic work in other languages, limit the results to English only.
  • After running your search, make full use of the facets on the right-hand side of the screen to further pinpoint your results.
  • Make sure you've signed in with your University of Puget Sound username and password, because some resources and services (like SUMMIT) won't show up as options if you don't.

Example of a search query:

ALC 205 Primo Search Example

Subject Databases

Subject databases offer more comprehensive search results within a particular field or discipline of study.  They often provide abstracts of scholarly work and index multiple types of academic writing:  books, articles, essays, reviews, dissertations.

Tip:  Due to their more comprehensive nature, subject databases may identify materials that you'll need to request from other libraries, so plan ahead!  Use PRIMO to track down and request books and essay collections from SUMMIT.  Use ILLiad (interlibrary loan) to request electronic copies of articles to which Collins Library doesn't already have access.

Online Article Collections

Online article collections provide full-text convenience and can provide you with a sense of the scholarly terrain of a topic.  However, their search interfaces typically are not as granular as those of subject databases, so search queries often will provide lengthy lists of results, not all of which may be useful or even relevant.