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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

About this Guide

This guide is intended to point you to resources that will be useful for WRT 205 sections exploring science writing (health, wellness, or medicine inquiries OR science communication to the general public). The guide is organized into the set of subpages listed below (which you can also see linked in navigational tabs).

Emphasis in this guide has been placed on materials that are available electronically and in full text

This guide will prepare you to:

  1. Identify steps of the research process.
  2. Identify places to find relevant sources on the library website (Summon, databases, research guides).
  3. Conduct searches to find possible sources for your assignment.
  4. Know where to find additional research help from librarians or library staff.

This guide includes two videos (below) to help you get started searching in Summon and the databases.

If you have questions or need help using any of these resources at any time, get in touch with any of the three librarians who co-created this guide {Natalie LoRusso, Abby Kasowitz-Scheer, or Michael Pasqualoni} - or use other general contact points listed below under "Need Help?  Ask Us!"   -

Thanks also go to SU's Humanities Librarian, and Lead for Digital and Open Scholarship, Patrick Williams, and Information Literacy Librarian, Kelly Delevan, for frameworks that contributed to this course guide

    • Research Process  an overview of general principles for key strategies and steps to keep in mind as you conduct your inquiry.  Includes links to several short research process tutorials.

 

    • Getting Started (Search Tools)  features resources which allow you to get to know your topic. See how scientific concepts and topics are expressed across a variety of media and disciplines. These tools help you to find background information, determine what types of information is available, assist in defining terms, and offer overviews of controversies and periods.

 

    • Search Strategies  concepts to employ when selecting and combining search words or short phrases that lend themselves toward increasing the relevance of source material available to you when conducting your inquiry.

 

    • Library Databases a series of links to SUL's electronic databases, which will point you to articles and essays from scholarly and popular publications covering some of the many issues related to your topic of inquiry. This list includes resources where you are likely to find science writing from the mass media, the scholarly literature, and non-STEM fields.

 

    • Data & Statistics leads to ready access to databases that primarily aggregate sets of numeric data.

 

    • Photojournalism, Images & Maps contains links to material on websites, other library guides, free and open access databases and additional media that may contribute to your understanding of a topic from a visual perspective.  This includes guidance on locating or creating maps.

 

    • eBook Collections offers a concise list of specific online book collections, where some WRT students may be able to locate relevant book chapters as well as reference books containing broad overviews of specific topics being explored.

 

    • Specific Journals a partial list only of specific scholarly journals that some WRT 205 students may wish to explore from the Library's Journals A to Z list when conducting your inquiry.

 

    • Evaluating Sources guidance on what to consider when assessing sources you use during your inquiry.

 

    • Citing Sources quick access to help on formatting citations to your sources.

Getting Started Videos

SU's Reference & User Experience Librarian, Natalie LoRusso, shares two brief videos showing search examples that use: 

  • SUMMON, the primary search engine for collections at SU Libraries
  • ProQuest, a comprehensive-multi topic database containing many different source types (scholarly journals, newspapers, magazines, etc.)
  • PubMed, a subject specialized database focused on medicine and public health