Our peer research advisor helps first year students find resources for research paper in the Seminars in Scholarly Inquiry and other classes.She can also help with evaluating sources and citation styles.
Make sure the topic meets the requirements of the paper assignment. Note the following:
Scope of paper focused
Format - double spaced, font size no larger than 12; may be a multi-media project
Length - 5-7 pages
Number and Types of Sources - 5-7 authored sources, general, popular online sources are usually not acceptable
Subject encyclopedias are good starting points for your paper. They can be used in the following ways:
Provide a broad overview of a topic that is more in-depth than in general encyclopedias
Discuss how scholars have approached, explored, and debated the topic over time
Identify words, phrases, names, dates, and events that can be used as keywords when searching a database
List bibliographies in articles to find other sources (both primary and secondary)
Provide cross-references to find related topics
Other starting points:
Textbooks, music surveys
Surveys, Textbooks, edited books or anthologies can provide a broad viewpoint.
Articles, typically found through subject or multidisciplinary databases, can be helpful in understanding the scholarly conversation about the topic.
Oxford Music Online
A great first step in the research process. Includes Grove Music Online, The Oxford Companion to Music, The Oxford Dictionary of Music, and the Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Note: Limit of 3 simultaneous users.
A collection of full text materials focusing on the lives and events which have shaped African and African American history and culture. Includes biographies, images, primary source documents with commentaries, maps, tables and charts, and thematic timelines.