GBK 202 Thomas

by gratz_ae — last modified 2016-04-28T16:30:18-04:00

Hello! This guide includes information and resources to help you complete your research assignments on the Nicomachean Ethics later this semester. If you need any additional help, please get in touch with Amy Gratz (see info at right), the subject librarian for Great Books.

Locating/Citing Sources

Discovery - A service allowing you to search multiple databases and the library catalog simultaneously. Although this is a great starting point, I strongly encourage you to check out some of the other options below:


Library Catalog - Search here for books and other items held by the Mercer University Libraries. As we discussed in class, we have a number of translations of the Nicomachean Ethics, so you may want to start with the link to search by subject for "Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics."

WorldCat (FirstSearch) — If you can't find enough information in the Mercer University Libraries, search here to locate books around the world. As demonstrated in class, you can request these books, and we will have them shipped here for you to use, at no cost to you. Remember that this process takes time, though!


JSTOR — Only scholarly sources, and in massive amounts. The trick with this database is constructing a good search to start with. Also remember that this database has a lot of historical content, so it's a good idea to limit your search results by year. I would recommend going back no further than 30 or 40 years.

Philosopher's Index (EBSCO) — Full text is minimal, but there are a lot of good sources in this database. Remember that it only takes a couple of clicks to get an article in full text!

Research Library (ProQuest) — A database with sources on almost any topic, many of which are NOT included in a Discovery search. Use the advanced search screen and be sure to add limits for peer-reviewed, article, and English-language sources.

Arts and Humanities Citation Index (Web of Science) — Great for locating high-quality articles in the Arts and Humanities, this database is part of the larger Web of Science. Be sure to change your results list from the default sort order of "publication date" to "relevance"

Citing Sources

Most databases will help you format citations in the most commonly-used style guides. If you need more assistance, you can also check out the Purdue OWL's guides on MLA, APA, and Chicago styles, refer to your Little Bear Handbook, or check the full style guides, all of which are available at Tarver's Circulation Desk.

If you need additional help, librarians at the Ask Jack desk are ready to help you format citations!

Research Help

Need a refresher? These topics were covered in most GBK 101 classes:

Scholarly, Popular, and Trade Publications - what these are, how to tell them apart, and why to use them

General Search Strategies and Tips - includes general suggestions like "get started early," as well as specific tools such as the AND, OR, NOT operators and truncation

Evaluating Sources with the CRAP test - a basic strategy for evaluating sources of any type

Recommendations for this assignment:

  • Remember that Aristotle wrote two works on ethics - the Nicomachean Ethics and the Eudemian Ethics. Make sure the sources you find are talking about the right one!
  • If you haven't written an annotated bibliography before, check out How to Write an Annotated Bibliography, a general guide on this common research assignment. Be sure to check with Dr. Thomas for her particular preferences, though!
  • Use books! Aristotle's works have been analyzed and written about for over two thousand years, and most of this analysis has been published in books rather than articles or online. You may want to check out some of the classic interpretations and commentaries on the Nicomachean Ethics, such as St. Thomas Aquinas' Commentary.
  • Really spend some time thinking about your topic before you start searching and try to narrow it down. With a text this old and influential, there's a sea of information out there - try to figure out which part you want to dive into.