Getting My Facts Straight
Before I start collecting information sources, I want to be sure that I understand the basics: the vocabulary and any special meanings, important dates, important people, and important events. To do this, I am going to look for some reference sources to help me get started.
Research Step 1: Locating Background Information
Background information is usually located using reference tools, such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, directories, handbooks, atlases, and more. They give a short synopsis of the important facts about the topic. It's a good way to start my research.
As a PSC student, I have multiple ways to locate reference sources:
- The Catamount Catalog (PSC) and the MountainLynx Catalog (WVU) to locate reference books (print and eBooks)
- Credo Reference, an online reference collection, and Salem Press Reference to locate reference articles
- CQ Researcher and Points of View to locate background and overview information, including pro/con articles on controversial aspects
- Specialized databases (see Databases by Resource Type) for articles and chapters in books
- Virtual Reference Shelf (Library of Congress)
- Web search tools (Google and Bing) to locate freely available reference sources
My Strategy for Locating Background Information
I am going to skip the Catamount Catalog and MountainLynx Catalog because they are also used in Step 2: Locating Books. Instead I am going to search Credo Reference, Salem Press Reference, CQ Researcher, and Points of View. At least one of them should give me something usable.
My Reference Sources
- Credo Reference: Search (5:32) = Basic and advanced searching
- Credo Reference: Cite 1 (4:02) = How to cite an unsigned encyclopedia article (MLA)
- Credo Reference: Cite 2 (5:20) = How to cite a signed encyclopedia article (MLA)
- CQ Researcher: Search (3:14) = Basic searching
- CQ Researcher: Cite (4:15) = How to cite a CQ Researcher article (MLA)
- Points of View: Overview (4:56) = Introduction to Points of View modules and how to search for them.
- Points of View: Citing Modules (3:58) = How to cite a Points of View module (MLA)
- Points of View: Advanced Searching (4:29) = How to locate articles and refine searches
- Points of View: Citing Articles (5:20) = How to cite articles (MLA)