Tutor profile: Jody P.
Subject: Library and Information Science
My instructor has assigned a research paper using 10 articles from a peer-reviewed journal. Do you know where I might find articles that satisfy this requirement?
Keep in mind that your articles should come from journals that have a peer-review process. In many cases, instructors may request that students use articles from scholarly or peer-reviewed journals to maintain a certain level of quality with regard to resources used by students. When an article is submitted to a scholarly journal it is reviewed by other researchers and experts in a discipline before being published and made available. School libraries may have research guides or lib guides to help students navigate through available resources. Schools also have access to print and online journals for students. In many cases, databases offered by your school will allow you to limit your search to only peer-reviewed journals. Ebsco's "Academic Search" allows researchers to filter only results from peer-reviewed journals.
Subject: European History
I've been assigned a research paper by my medieval civilization professor. The requirements are for me to use at least 4 primary sources and 6 secondary sources. How should I get started?
First, primary sources come from people or groups that directly witnessed a historical event (or as close as possible). The secondary sources are, mostly, the work of scholars and researchers working with primary sources and describe historical events. You can begin by looking at encyclopedia articles on your topic and building a bibliography using the works cited for the article that pertains to your topic. In this way, your secondary sources can lead to your primary sources. These secondary sources (encyclopedias and dictionaries) might be found in print reference collections and online via databases. Be sure to look at any research guide your school library may have created to assist with your work. I would suggest that you keep in mind that many of the primary sources available will be from the church and depending on the location may be in a foreign language (though there may be translations). Some common databases for historical sources include: Adam Mattew, JSTOR, Hein Online (law and legal history). HaithiTrust Digital Library and the Internet Medieval Sourcebook (Fordham University) have a great deal to offer online for free.
I'm taking a cultural anthropology course and my instructor has given us the assignment of finding an ethnography to review. How can I find an ethnography?
Ethnographies involve participant observation in which researchers gather cultural and social information in a specific environment. A good place to start your search could be the works cited in an anthropological encyclopedia or reference work. That bibliography can lead you to ethnographies used in the creation of articles on specific subjects or groups. Most ethnographic works are sorted into the Library of Congress subject heading: ethnology. From there it is further subdivided by location. For example, ethnology-China. Ethnographies may also be located by searching for "social life and customs" connected to specific locations. For example, one could search for Ireland - social life and customs. Additionally, one could search for ethnographies by searching for a specific group of people. For example, a search for Rastafari or Sami and retrieve ethnographic works for either group. Anthropological databases and journals are also great places to look for ethnographic research.
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