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Yes for Prep

Types of Sources

Encyclopedias provide an overview of your topic and are a great starting point for focusing your topic

Books provide detailed, in depth information about your topic and put it in context

Articles provide detailed information about a specific aspect of your topic

Library of Congress Classification

Books in academic libraries are shelved using the Library of Congress (LC) classification system, so that books on the same subject are shelved near each other:

Mardigian Search (searches all the library's databases at once)

Advanced Search

Search FAQs

1. How do I search for my topic?

  • Identify the keywords of your topic and use those as your search words. 
  • Each book and article has tags assigned to it, words or shorts phrases that make each book or article searchable
    • You want your search words to match those tags 
    • Words like impact, factors, effects, or effective are not used as tags
  • Example topic: Cleopatra's encounters with the Roman Empire
    • Search words: cleopatra encounters roman empire 

2. I have too manysearch hits. How do I find what I need for my assignment?

  • Use Refine Your Search options to focus your search hits to your assignment needs
    • peer-reviewed or scholarly articles
    • content type, such as journal articles, books, newspapers, or magazines
  • Example: finding books for your research papers
    • Under Refine Your Search:
      • click on Book/ebook under Content Type 
  • Example: finding peer-reviewed articles for your research papers
    • Under Refine Your Search:
      • click on Peer Review
      • click on Journal Article under Content Type

3. I can't find anything on my topic. What do I do?

  • The search words you're using to describe your topic may not match the tags that have been assigned to books and articles on that topic.
    • Try different search words that mean the same thing, i.e. treatment is also used to describe intervention.
  • There may not be research tying your main ideas together yet.
    • Try searching for your main ideas separately and linking their findings together. 
  • If you've found one book that's relevant for your topic, look through the sources in its Bibliography (at the end of the book) to see if any of them are also relevant to your research.  
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