Arts & Science

A guide to the resources and search techniques of use to students taking ASCI courses.

Tutorials

Encyclopedias

There are hundreds of subject-specific encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, etc. available through the library.  How to find them:

Library Catalogue

Search the catalogue for your topic AND "dictionary or encyclopedia or handbook". 

  • It's probably easier to use the "Advanced Search" option for this type of search.  Put all the ORs in one searchbox and your topic in another.  Search "anywhere" or "subject".

Here's an example of the results for "feminism"; it finds 26 books.
 

screeshot of sample search

 

EBook Packages

Search within some of our large ebook packages. Some collections are specifically meant for background "reference" information.

Examples:

Key Library Books

Research Project

You are asked to "produce a university-level interdisciplinary research project on a topic that clearly connects to one of the course themes".  Your proposal and annotated bibliography require "at least five (5) academic/scholarly sources" from both the sciences and arts/humanities/social sciences".

This guide reminds you of the techniques you learned in the Library Tutorials on Finding Articles, and offers tips to help find resources.

The tutorials on this page are helpful if you're confused.

1.  Read the Readings

It's difficult to research something you know very little about.  The more you understand the topic, the easier it is to find appropriate search terms and to recognize whether an article or book might be relevant to your topic.

2.  Use Existing Bibliographies

Many of the course readings have a bibliography/works cited/references list at the end.  Search out some of the interesting documents through the library, using the skills you learned on "Finding a KNOWN Article" and "Finding Books". 

You need to be able to READ a citation to do this effectively.  See the tutorial on "Navigating from a Citation to a Document" if you need help with this.

3.  Look for Related Items

When you access an online document (either a course reading or through an article search), check to see if there are any suggestions for related articles.  They could be related by:

  • Cited By: See other articles that have cited this one.
  • Shared Citations: See articles that have cited some of the same resources.
  • Usage: See what other people who looked at this article also looked at.
  • Author: See what else the author has written.  Often experts write multiple articles on the same topic, as their research progresses.

4.  Search Databases

Remember to search in the RIGHT PLACE and use the BEST SEARCH TERMS.

Books

  • Use the Library Catalogue to search for books.  Use broad search terms, because books cover broad subjects.
  • See "Finding Books" in the menu for help and links to ebook databases.  These databases offer the option to search within the books for chapters that cover your topic.

Articles

  • Search one or more of the databases recommended on "Finding Articles" in the menu of this page.
  • Use relevant keywords that you've gathered from your course readings as search terms.
  • Remember to look at the DETAILED descriptions for suggestions and links to other articles.
  • Click Get It! Trent to link to full text articles.

Books of Possible Interest

These are some examples of books that could be of interest to research projects.  To find others:

  • search the library catalogue using important keywords
  • browse the shelves in the library where these call numbers are; books are shelved by subject so there could be others in the same section
  • search some of our e-book collections with your keywords - see links under "Finding Books" on this guide

Books with call numbers are physical and must be retrieved from the library stacks; books with links are ebooks, accessible online.