The notes in this tab contain suggestions about how to proceed with research based on your assignment. These suggestions build upon, and presume familiarity with, the concepts and processes addressed in the Choosing a resource tab of this guide.
A research trajectory
- Topic: Choose a topic based on your interest and what you've learned in class. Sometimes it helps to do some preliminary searching in a database to see what others are writing about if you're undecided or unsure about your choice.
- Isolate resources likely to be of use for your focus (see suggested resources section of this page)
- Search selected resources to see if others have written about your topic, or a related one (search tips section, below)
- Select several promising results to examine closely, both for their own presentation of facts and to identify possible primary sources you might seek out. Remember to note any result's information you might need if you end up citing it.
- find books on your topic
- find periodicals you've identified as having articles on your topic
- find articles and/or essays
- focused content
- current content
- For publications from a specific discipline...
- determine discipline(s) relevant to your topic
- view article databases by the corresponding subject(s)
example subjects... Literature, Film Studies, History, Media Studies, Information Studies, Law & Legal Studies...
- For publications from many disciplines, use a General database
- example databases...
Academic Search Complete
- popular and scholarly content (good for popular culture topics)
- some results available online
- has UC-eLinks
- example databases...
- Google Scholar
- strength is scholarly journal literature
- use UC-eLinks to get full text,
[ but you must first enable it -
via Settings gear > Library links ]
- scholarly journals
- full text resource
- use advanced search (to narrow to specific discipline, and set limits
Full Text News
- Many newspaper websites make their current content available for free
- Google News
- derived from identified news sources its search robots have crawled (limited to recent news, w/in last month)
- most result content is freely available
- includes results from more than news sites -- blogs, satire sites, etc. (attempts to tag these results accordingly)
Current (through last several decades)
News databases are the easiest way to search for "current" news:
- Access via... Library homepage > Electronic resources > By type> News Databases
- Content typically stretches from recent news to that from last several decades
- Review resource description
- alternative or mainstream press
- historical time period
- geographical focus
- portal with links to sites on the web or database providing actual news articles..
- Look for a resource providing Full Text access