GBK 101 - Thomas

by gratz_ae — last modified 2016-11-09T10:40:11-04:00

This guide is designed to help you complete your research assignment in this class. If you need more assistance, please don't hesitate to contact Amy Gratz, the librarian for your class (contact information on right).

Find & Use Sources

Databases

Use these resources to find articles on your chosen topic; I recommend searching in all of them - do not assume you are done after searching in JSTOR. Also, once you have found an article that you can use, look at their sources/citations to help you find more articles that you might be able to use.

JSTOR 
This database is the best place to look for scholarly articles on this topic. While searching, be sure to limit by language and publication date; JSTOR has a LOT of journals, and this will reduce the number of results drastically. Keep in mind that most of the articles you find here will have been published at least 5 years ago, because JSTOR specializes in providing historical backfiles.

Project MUSE
This is an interdisciplinary collection of high quality, peer reviewed journals extensively in the humanities and social sciences. Although this database does not have as many relevant journals as JSTOR, you will find more recently published articles here.

Discovery 
A service allowing you to search multiple databases and the library catalog simultaneously. This is a great resource for finding information on almost any topic, especially if you're not sure where to start. 

Research Library 
This database is another good place to search for almost any topic. I strongly recommend changing your default search from "anywhere" to "anywhere except full text" to increase the relevancy of the results you get. Much of the content you see here will not appear in Discovery.

Help with Greek Quotations:

Use the following links to compare the English and Greek side-by-side to verify that you've found the correct passage. If you need to, click on specific Greek words to get their meaning in English (look for a "show lexicon entry" link). 

Citing Sources

Online guide on Chicago style citations - created and maintained by the Purdue Online Writing Lab, this resource covers the majority of what you will need for citing sources. If you need to know something that is not covered there, the complete Chicago Manual of Style is available at the library Circulation desk.

If you need additional help, ask a librarian to help you format citations!

Search Strategies

Boolean Operators: AND, OR, NOT

Use Boolean Operators to combine your keywords into a more effective search, as indicated below. It is important to remember to put these operators in all caps, so the database knows that it is a command.

AND searches for multiple words and requires that all the words appear. This narrows your list of results. OR searches for multiple words, and requires only one of the words appear. This broadens your list of results.  NOT blocks certain words from your search. This narrows your list of results.

Phrase Searching

When you're looking for a specific phrase or set of words, it is extremely helpful to put those words in quotation marks. This tells the database that you only want results where those words appear exactly as typed, in that order. This narrows your list of results.

Nested Searches

Nested searching is a strategy where you group similar search terms together into a more complex search. This builds on the strategies above, and is essentially letting you conduct multiple searches at the same time.

Nested Seach

Pearl Growing/Data Mining

Once you have found a useful article, use the sources cited by the author to locate additional potential sources. If you need help deciphering citations or locating sources, please contact me or another librarian for assistance. You can also use Google Scholar to work your way forwards - look up your article there, and look for a "cited by" link. You may also see a "cited by" or a references link in Discovery.

Other Useful Information

Brainstorming Keywords

A key first step in researching is brainstorming search terms, or keywords. This will help you think of different aspects of your topic and flesh out possible directions to take when researching or writing, and gives you a pool of potential terms to go back to if your first few tries don't yield relevant results.

For this assignment, you might want to start with thinking about your class discussions or your daily questions/writing assignments - is there a particular question you would like to explore more deeply? What themes, characters, scenes, or topics in the Orestia do you find interesting?

Scholarly and Popular Sources

(For more information, see this guide)

Most sources of information fall into one of these two categories. Here's how they're different:

"Scholarly" (aka "academic" or "peer-reviewed") periodicals are usually published by an association, institution, or scholarly press. They contain articles written by scholars, professors, and researchers in a particular discipline, and are intended for other scholars and researchers in the field. Articles published in these journals are sent to other experts in the field to be reviewed prior to publication.

“Popular” periodicals are publications that are intended for the general public, and whose main purpose is usually entertainment. Articles in these publications are generally written by paid journalists or columnists, and reviewed by an editor.

Reasons to use Scholarly Sources:
  • They are generally the most highly valued source of information in academic circles
  • They are written by and reviewed by experts in the field
  • The information they contain critically examines some aspect of the world

Reasons to use Popular Sources:

  • They are easier to understand because they are written for the general public
  • They are more likely to contain information on recent events
  • They can give you an insight into what type of information is available to the general populace on a subject

Evaluating Sources 

In addition to knowing what type of source you have, there are several other criteria for deciding whether or not to use a source in your paper. Start with the C.R.A.P. test to do a basic evaluation:OverThink

Currency: is the information recent enough for your topic?

  • For this assignment, probably within the last 25-35 years

Relevancy: does the information relate to your topic, either directly or indirectly?

  • Directly relevant sources are better, but you may need to use less relevant sources and make the connections to your topic for your reader

Authority: who wrote the information, and are they an authoritative source?

  • For this assignment, you want to use works written by scholars who are experts in an appropriate field

Purpose: what was the intent of the author when writing this information?

  • Most scholarly sources are informative, but the author may also be trying to persuade you to agree with them. You should also consider whether or not they agree with the majority of scholars on the given topic

Image "OverThink" by Lori Semprevio, 2010. Used under the CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license