English 102

Preparing to Search for Sources

Now that you’ve identified a topic and a research question, it’s time to start looking for sources.

If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to go through the UW library’s tutorial on searching databases.

Also, read “Types of Sources.” This handout explains what the different types of sources are and what types you will be required to use in your research paper.

These handouts give you essential information for finding and evaluating sources for your research. Please read them and familiarize yourself with the information they contain. This information is essential to continuing your research. I expect you to know it and be able to apply it to your research. If you don’t, it will be very difficult to complete this course successfully.

Once you have read these materials, fill out the Search Strategy Worksheet.

You should now be in a good position to begin your search for sources.

Some More Useful Resources

Before coming to Shoreline I taught at Bellevue Community College. I found their handouts on the indexes (Proquest and EbscoHost), on the differences between magazines and journals, and on Boolean search techniques to be quite useful. There is a lot of overlap with the Shoreline tutorial linked above, but these have enough additional useful information that I decided to include them here. Anyone can access them. Have a look; they may help you out.

Two notes of caution:

  1. Some of the information on these handouts applies to BCC databases only or the way BCC accesses them and may not be relevant to the Shoreline online resources.
  2. The databases are constantly changing and these handouts may not keep up with the changes.

All links open in a new window.

  1. EbscoHost” BCC library handout (PDF)
  2. Proquest” BCC library handout (PDF)
  3. Periodicals Comparison Chart” BCC library handout (PDF)
  4. Boolean Search Techniques” BCC library handout (PDF)

Thanks to the folks at the BCC Library Media Center for sharing their work with us!