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Syracuse University Libraries

WRT 205: Research Tips and Resources (McCrary)

Guide for Robin McCrary's WRT 205 classes, Writing and Science, Spring 2020

Library Research Tools

Once you've decided on the type of sources to start with (e.g., article, book, web site, etc.), it is time to search for a specific published content that best fits your topic of inquiry. There are several crucial tools that you can use to help you locate information sources at the Syracuse University Libraries:

Scholarly Encyclopedia Style Databases

These databases are excellent online reference sources (also sometimes called "tertiary sources") that provide encyclopedia style overviews of topics covered, often with embedded citations to additional articles, books, websites, etc. you can explore:

Google and Other Search Engines

Google and other web search engines can be helpful for providing some basic background information on a topic. It's important to keep in mind that much of the information you find on the free web has not been evaluated and that the authors may not have appropriate credentials. For tips on using Google in research, see the following resources:

Many scholarly sources such as articles from research journals are not freely available on the web. You will need to use the Libraries' databases to access them. The Libraries purchase subscriptions to over 600 databases, providing access to thousands of articles, e-books, datasets, images, and other resources for your research. These resources are freely available to you while you are students at SU. When you are off-campus, you will be asked to enter your NetID and password to connect.