This guide is designed to help you get started on your research in Phil320. Use the tabs above to find articles, and books or to learn more about research skills. Feel free to contact me directly (see box below) if you have any questions or want to set up an appointment to meet for more help.
Image credit: Jonas Bengtsson
Reference books like dictionaries and encyclopedias are great ways to get background information on your topic. Looking up your topic can get you biographical or historical information, general concepts, lists of works, and related terms depending on your topic.
The type of information you gather from reference sources is seldom the kind of critical analysis your professors are looking for in your papers. Use reference sources to become familiar with your topic so that you can search smarter when you look for books and articles. You should generally refrain from using them in your papers. Situations vary, so if you're unsure, check with your instructor.
Use the resources below for background research before continuing on to find books and articles in the other tabs.
Consult "Thinking Like a Researcher 1-1" on page 4 of Hacker's Research and Documentation in the Digital Age for help narrowing your topic and developing a focused research question.