Objective: Using Library Resources
in Preparing a Research Proposal
I. Clearly define your
Use Reference Resources to
clarify your research problem and gather background information.
Selected resources in the WSU library are listed below. Look on
the shelves near these books; there may be similar books nearby
with helpful information.
- Encyclopedia of Anthropology
Middle Level, Reference Shelves: GN 11 .E53 2006
- Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology
Middle Level, Reference Shelves: GN 307 .E52 1996
- Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Middle Level, Reference Shelves: GN 307 .E525 1996
- The Dictionary of Anthropology
Middle Level, Reference Shelves: GN 307 .D485 1997
- International Dictionary of Anthropologists
Middle Level, Reference Shelves: GN 20 .I52 1991
- Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology
Middle Level, Reference Shelves: GN 345 .H37 1998
- Encyclopedia of Sociology
Middle Level, Reference Shelves: HM 425 .E5 2000
- Encyclopedia of Psychology
Middle Level, Reference Shelves: BF 31 .E522 2000
II. Select your search
- State your research topic as a thesis statement
or a question:
the effects of corporal punishment on adolescents
- Identify the separate concepts that make up your topic; put phrases in quotation marks:
"corporal punishment"; adolescents
- Make a list of search terms for each concept. Be sure
to include synonyms, related terms, and terms that may be broader
"corporal punishment": spanking, "physical punishment"
adolescents: teenagers, teens, youths
The Contemporary Thesarus of Search Terms and Synonyms
- ask at Reference Desk
- Add appropriate official subject headings to your lists:
Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms - ask at Reference
Thesaurus of Sociological Indexing Terms - ask at Reference
Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors [Education] - ask at Reference
Library of Congress Subject Headings - ask at Reference
III. Devise your search
Based on your list(s)
of search terms , devise your search strategy:
- use boolean operator OR; this tells the computer
to search for all the terms at the same time:
"corporal punishment" or spanking; adolescents or teenagers
- use boolean operator AND; this tells the computer
to restrict retrieval to both concepts:
"corporal punishment" and adolescents
- use truncation (*) to broaden your search
to include variants of a term:
adolescen* will retrieve adolescence, adolescent, adolescents
- use parentheses to group terms combined using
("corporal punishment" or spank* or "physical punishment") and
(adolescen* or teen* or youth*)
IV. Conduct a literature
To find books ,
search one or more of the following library catalogs :
Be sure to check the shelves
near any books you find; there may be other books with similar information
You can also find books
on Anthropology and related fields by browsing the shelves
in the Top Level of the library in the General Collection under
the following call numbers: GN [Anthropology], CC [Archaeology],
QM [Human Evolution], L [Linguistics], GR [Folklore], HM [Sociology],
HQ [Family. Marriage. Women], and BF [Psychology].
If the book you want is
not available in our library, use ILLiad
(our online Interlibrary Loan system) to request the book from
another library. This usually takes 4 to 7 days.
To find articles, you
need to use an article database, a searchable database of references
to journal, magazine and newspaper articles. Some article databases
also include the full-text of the article.
To find scholarly journals
articles in Anthropology, the best place to start is Academic
Search Premier. It contains thousands of full-text articles
from hundreds of magazines and scholarly journals, including many
in Anthropology and related disciplines. To limit your search to
scholary journal articles in Academic
Search Premier, click on the box next to Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed)
Journals. You may also limit your search to articles available in
full-text on the computer by clicking on the box next to Full Text.
The library also has access to many other Social
and Behavior Sciences article databases that may include
relevant articles. Two databases that are specific to anthropology
are AnthroSource (selected
full text available on-campus only) and Anthropological
Index Online (no full text).
If the article is available as PDF Full-text in the article database you are using, download, email or print the article.
If the article is not available as PDF Full-text, click on the Linked Full Text or Find Full Text buttons to see if we have it in full-text in another database.
If there are no Linked Full Text or Find Full Text buttons, or if it says that no full-text is available when you follow any of the links, check the library's EJournals list to see if full-text for the journal containing the article is available in another article database. This list will also tell you if we subscribe to the journal in print format.
If the article is only available in print, do a Journal Alphabetical search in our Online Catalog to identify the call number for the print journal. Recent issues of print journals are shelved by call number in the Current Periodicals area on the Middle Level of the library at the south end. Earlier issues are shelved by call number in bound volumes on the Top Level of the library.
If the article is not available either online or in print, use ILLiad (our online Interlibrary Loan system) to request a copy of the article from another library. This usually takes 2 to 4 days.
Check the bibliography:
When you find a good book
or article, be sure to check the bibliography to
identify other books and articles on your subject.
Finding Internet Resources:
To find Internet resources,
an excellent place to begin is the Stewart Library's list of web
resources in Anthropology. Most of the sites listed will provide
links to additional sites, so explore! Sociological
Abstracts will often retrieve links to selected web sites as
well as journal articles. Use Internet
search engines to find additional information.
V. Carefully evaluate
the information you find
- Visit the Reference Desk or call 626-6415 and speak to
a reference librarian
- Online reference help via email: Ask-A-Librarian