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Tutt Library Research Guides
Create A Keyword List
The right keywords help to effectively search catalogs, databases, and the Internet.
- Compile a list of keywords that represent each concept of your topic.
- Try the Search Generator (Northwest Missouri State University) to help you create a keyword search.
-Use more specific terms when searching databases versus catalogs.
- Look for additional terms in your search results.
- Search Google Books for keywords in the title, table of contents, subject headings, and text of books.
- Use the Library of Congress Authorities and Vocabularies thesaurus
- to find variations of keywords and subject headings.
You may need to do multiple searches (RE -search) in various databases.
With patient and persistence, you will find relevant material.
Leverage Footnotes and Bibliographies
Footnotes and bibliographies are a quick way to find related materials and track the
names of popular authors.
Evaluating Periodical Articles
Scholarly Articles have:
- Bibliography, footnotes, or endnotes. This provides evidence of the research that was conducted to produce the article.
- Written by expert(s) in the field. Usually there is information that describes the author’s credentials and current position.
- Published by Associations, Research Institutes, University Presses.
- “Peer reviewed.” Refers to the policy of experts in the field examining journal articles before acceptance for publication.
- Written in the jargon of the field for scholarly readers (professors, researchers or students.)
- Illustrations that support the text, such as tables of statistics, graphs, maps, or photographs
Popular Magazines on the other hand:
- No footnotes or references.
- Written by journalists who are usually not experts in the field.
- Easy to read. Intended for lay audience. Informative and entertaining.
- Short articles.
- Many advertisements throughout the magazine.
- Glossy, slick. Illustrated with graphics and photos.
- Unsigned articles.
These criteria apply to all periodicals (online or print).
Tutt Library, Colorado College Research Help Desk: 719-389-6662, Texting: 719-387-5441, E-mail: tuttref@ColoradoCollege.edu