I hope this guide will provide some useful starting places for your research, as you work on your sourced papers. I'm happy to consult with you about any part of the research process, from finding and evaluating sources to understanding how to cite them. You can email me or make an appointment with me. We can also arrange a time for a text chat — whatever works for you! Karen Storz, Research & Instruction Librarian
SuperSearch can be a great place to start to find out what's out there on your topic. SuperSearch will find books, journal articles, films, news, and almost everything else the library has — from popular to scholarly sources. You can use the filters on the results screen to improve your results.
For searching with more focus and precision, try one of the databases recommended on the Find Articles & Books page of this guide.
SuperSearch can be a great place to get a panoramic view of a topic from a wide variety of sources. Some tips:
Use quotation marks " " to search words as a phrase. This will narrow your results.
Use AND to combine multiple concepts in your search. This will narrow your results.
"science fiction" AND gender
Use OR to find different ways your topic could be expressed. This will expand your results. Group these related terms in parentheses, so the database interprets them first. The following search will find results that have any one of the terms in parentheses as well as the phrase "science fiction."
"science fiction" AND (gender OR "sex role" OR femininity OR masculinity)
Use an asterisk * to find variant endings. This will expand your results
"science fiction" AND (gender* OR "sex role" OR feminin* OR masculin*)
Specialized encyclopedias, handbooks, companions, and other reference sources can be great places to explore a topic. They can summarize knowledge around a topic, synthesize scholarly discussions, define key concepts, and help you find keywords for further searches. They often include bibliographies as well, making them a good resource for identifying key books and articles on a topic. Try searching for a topic in one of the following databases to search multiple reference sources at once.
Your topic seemed so great! So why can't you find any information on it? If you're looking for an all-in-one source that addresses your topic perfectly, you might need a different approach. (From the North Carolina State University Libraries)