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German 371: Wissen und Wissenschaften

Where Do I Start?

Step 1: Do Some Preliminary Searching

Spend some time browsing encyclopedias or databases to explore ideas for a research paper or to see if the topic you have in mind is something scholars have been discussing.

Step 2: Run your topic by your professor.  Once you get the green light, begin gathering your sources.  Start with encyclopedias to:

  • Get an overview of your topic
  • Begin to learn who the scholars are that have wriitten about it
  • Look at the bibliography at the end of the article to learn about important articles and books
  • Pick up on any new vocabulary

Search Catalyst for books and articles

  • Remember to use Subject Headings
  • If you need to get books from another library, do this early so that you have your materials on time
  • Scan bibliographies in the books you find to lead you to other important sources

Use article databases to find more recent scholarship

Step 3: Evaluate your sources

  • Are they peer reviewed?
  • What is the authority behind the material?
  • Is timeliness important?
  • Think about the scholarly conversation