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Find an overview of your topic by using Reference books. Reference books are located on the Main Floor of the Sojourner Truth Library.
Use the in the Library Catalog and Limit search to: Reference Collection
The STL also subscribes to many Reference books through various library databases
Also look in the general encyclopedias in the Reference Area, including
Use the most recent cumulative index of Twentieth Century Literary Criticism
[REF PN771.T94] to find references to the sources listed below.
Also consult the cumulative NATIONALITY indexes in the back of CLC, NCLC and TCLC.
The Reference Universe database can be used to find information within reference books, including specialized encyclopedias and other Reference sources. PLEASE NOTE: Clicking on the title will open the library catalog, but clicking on the index link below it will provide information about your search results.
Select a topic that interests you:
Start by choosing a topic that interests you and that you can cover in the time and space required for your project.
Do preliminary searches:
Do a few searches in the Library Catalog or article databases before commiting to your topic. You may find that you need to narrow or broaden your topic based on what you discover.
Read background information:
Take a few minutes to read about your topic in a specialized encyclopedia, dictionary or handbook. These sources will provide you with background information, as well as lists of other sources to get you started on your research.
Make a list of words that describe your topic:
Write your topic out as a short sentence or question and look at the different components that make up your statement. From these components, start compiling a list of words, as well as synonyms that describe your topic. Use these words to search for your topic in the Library Catalog and in Article Databases.
Focus on scholarly sources:
Use primarily scholarly or peer-reviewed sources. Such sources are typically not freely available on the Web and cannot be found by searching Internet search engines like Google or Yahoo. Click on the Databases tab above.
Keep a log of your search process:
Keep track of what sources and search terms "work" and which ones do not.
Cite as you go:
Even if you're not sure whether you will use a source, it's much easier to note the citation information up front than to decide you need it later!