I hope this guide will provide some useful starting places for your research, as you work on your sourced papers. I'm available and 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 a a calendar appointment.
Karen Storz, Research & Instruction Librarian
SuperSearch is a great place to start for journal articles, books and almost everything else the library has, in one easy to use interface.
For searching with more focus and precision, try one of the databases recommended on this guide.
SuperSearch can be a great place to get a panoramic view of a topic from a wide variety of sources. Some tips:
These search tips work in SuperSearch and most library databases.
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.
selfie AND "self esteem"
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 either one of the phrases in parentheses along with selfie.
selfie AND ("self esteem" OR "body image")
Use an asterisk * to find variant endings (e.g., gender, gendered, feminine, femininity, etc.). This will expand your results, because again, you're providing more options.
selfie 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.