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Feel free to explore on your own, but if you're unsure where to start, try out these recommendations for this particular assignment.

1) IDENTIFY SEARCH TERM(S): What are you researching? You don't want to waste time and get you want to do an effective search right from the start, which means finding the right search term(s). Don't keep trying the same term(s) if you're not getting results. Map out optional words/terms/phrases/combinations of words before you begin. Try some simple tricks to get ideas, like simply Googling the following: literary topics OR themes OR characteristics OR ideas associated with ____ (and include poet or author's name). ). Example: literary topics or themes associated with Emily Dickinson. Also, take your time when you're searching on Google or databases, and look at the phrases that pop up under what you're entering. When you do this, you'll get additional search terms and ideas and combinations of phrasing to use. You can also find some additional tips under "SEARCHING: Tips" tab above. Just keep trying different words and/or combinations until you find what you need!! 

2) PRINT RESOURCES: You might luck out and find a book right here in the Padua Library. To check, go to the above tab: "PADUA LIBRARY: Destiny Library Catalog." Correctly spell your topic term & use "keyword" search option for best results. NOTE: Depending on the particular assignment, there be a cart of books set aside for this project OR there may be a COLLECTION of suggested print resources in Follett Destiny (access the Padua Library using the LibGuide tab). 

3) DATABASES: Many research options under this LibGuide's tabs are dependent on topic, and for this particular assignment (literary criticism) you should first explore the "DATABASES: Literary Specific Topics & Power Searches" tab above. Keep in mind that you may want to extend your search to other databases, which you can find under the "DATABASES: List of All Padua Databases". Teachers prefer and may even require databases over general websites, because databases contain academic information that has been peer reviewed and evaluated for authority, accuracy, and currency. Plus, citations are provided. So here are some Database Tips:

  • SAVING DATABASE INFO: To save info from databases, you must save the entire article directly in your Google Drive (URL's do not work for databases, so be careful!!!!). So remember: SAVE DATABASE INFO by SENDING IT RIGHT TO YOUR GOOGLE DRIVE!!!
  • LEARN TO NAVIGATE: Think of research as a game of skill. Learning to navigate these types of sites is a bit overwhelming but manageable. The goal is always to go to the best resources for your topic. When you have a subject specific topic, you want to look for databases suited to that topic. 
  • HOVER FOR INFO: Hover over database names to see which topics are covered in that database.
  • BRUIN BEAR SYMBOL: a bear symbol next to a database or website means it's commonly used by Padua students.
  • GALE: Gale databases are highly suggested (and a fav of Padua students) for any academic topic because they are designed for student use. Gale makes it easy to save and cite info. Gale's "Power Search" & "Student Resources in Context" are good general first stops.
  • INFOHIO: After Gale, try the INFOhio Databases, but you'll need to click OPEN once on any INFOhio page.
  • HELPFUL DATABASE FEATURESBe sure to utilize helpful database features such as the following:
    • Utilize Advanced Search features and/or topic finders/helpers.
    • Utilize filters to find what you want (academic journals or images or primary sources, etc.).
    • Explore extra/bonus features like listen & translate & automatic citation features. 

4) PROJECT SPECIFIC WEBSITES: Read the info below about Googling & websites, but if you are heading in that direction, first be sure to explore the "WEBSITES: Scholarly Sites & Project Specific Resources" tab above. 

5) GOOGLING & GENERAL WEBSITES: Do not rule out general websites, especially if you have a pop culture or news-type topics. Many websites are essentially free databases, depending on topic. That being said, you need to be more cautious about your sources when using these in regards to the following: verifiable publisher, current publication date, bias of info, etc. Here are some more quick tips:

  • SAVING WEBSITE INFO: Open a doc and save (copy & paste) the URL's of website articles to get back to them. (Important: URL's DO NOT WORK for databases. Be sure you know how to save database info (see Database info above).
  • Before you jump to Google, first explore "WEBSITES: Suggested for Various Areas" on this LibGuide, which provides some helpful websites/resources.
  • If you have to try Google and your teacher permits general websites, be sure to do a better Google search by trying some of the following
    • use the word "and" to help you get better info (examples: Emily Dickinson and theme of death and I could not stop for death)(Walt Whitman and war and O Captain! My Captain! and literary criticism)
    • look for .edu/.gov/.org by typing them next to your term (example: Emily Dickinson and theme of death .org .edu)
    • use quotation marks around multi-word terms (this tip is often hit or miss)(example: "O Captain! My Captain!")
    • You can also try Google Scholar, which sometimes provides full articles (but other times may only have abstracts). If you do find one here, TIP: click on pdf link to the far right of the page to open it (do not click on the article's title).
  • THE POINT? Try as many combinations as possible. Research is a game. Strategize and play until you win!!
  • If you need more help, check out the "Searching Tips" tab above.

6) PRIMARY RESOURCES: If you can't find primary sources on any of the databases that Padua provides, you'll need to expand your horizons. This is where a public library card will really come in handy. See the "SOURCES: PRIMARY vs. SECONDARY" tab above.

FRIENDLY REMINDER: There are many options to consider depending on your specific topic, so if you are confused or need additional help, know that you are always welcome to stop up or gmail Mrs. Frech. Good luck with your research!!