Search strategy
Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research related to Writing, Research, Composition and related topics.
  1. Begin by using the keyword brainstorming worksheet docx to help you tweak your research question, identify keywords and related terms, and keep track of what you find.  
     
  2. Search in a library catalog (Summon, OBIS, OhioLINK and/or WorldCat) to find books and reference sources.  They provide BACKGROUND and CONTEXT, review and SUMMARIZE earlier work, help you FOCUS your topic and provide CITATIONS to important books, journal articles, conference papers, interviews, etc.
     
  3. Next, search research databases to find articles. The Library has hundreds of databases available, but the ones listed below are good places to begin.
     
  4. You may also wish to use Google or Google Scholar to search the Internet.  Take advantage of Google's advanced search features!
     
  5. Finally, use the CRAAP test worksheet pdf to evaluate the sources you find!
Finding books and reference sources
OBIS: Catalog of the Oberlin College Library Unrestricted Resource
OhioLINK Library Catalog Unrestricted Resource
WorldCat Restricted Resource
Summon -- searches across a wide range of library content, and not just books! It includes journal and newspaper articles, data, digital audio, video, images, and so much more. Try it and see what you can discover. 
Finding secondary sources
Academic Search Complete Restricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images
Multidisciplinary - good for nearly all subjects. Scholarly and trade journals, popular magazines, newspapers, conference proceedings, book reviews, and more. 

Humanities International Complete Restricted Resource Some full text available
Index to journals, books and reference sources in all humanities disciplines, as well as selected original creative works including poems, fiction, photographs, and illustrations, with some content available full-text.

JSTOR Restricted Resource Some full text available
Scholarly journal archive for the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences;  most journals 2-5 years out-of-date

OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center ( EJC) Restricted Resource Some full text available
Scholarly journals in humanities, social sciences,and natural sciences, as well as engineering.

Readers' Guide Abstracts (1983 to date ) Restricted Resource
Citations and abstracts for popular magazine articles on all subjects.

Web of Science Restricted Resource
Scholarly literature in the sciences, health and medicine, social sciences, arts, and humanities and proceedings of international conferences, symposia, seminars, colloquia, workshops, and conventions.  Includes cited reference searching across many databases. Search all databases in Web of Science (includes Medline and BIOSIS, direct link for on-campus users). Dates of coverage: 1965 to present.  
Research help
Annotated bibliography help
Literature Review Introduction docx -- this page explains what it is/its purpose, strategies for approaching it, and questions to consider along the way.

Literature Review Worksheet docx -- a tool to help you examine each source that you are considering including in your literature review. Also gives you a chance to practice your critical evaluation skills by writing a brief appraisal of each source.
Writing & citation help

KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR SOURCES


ProQuest RefWorks is a citation management tool that helps researchers gather, manage, store and share information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies in a wide variety of styles.
  • Search - OBIS, OhioLink, PubMed & Scopus
  • Share - Folders via URL
  • Store - PDFs online and take notes
  • Read - Search your references fulltext and save searches
  • Write - Create a simple reference list and use Write-N-Cite to format paper in Microsoft Word
  • Check out our video tutorial!
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