Skip to Main Content

WRIT 2: Composition and Research (Prof. Lannon)

Resources for starting your research

Key Reference Resources - Fall 2021

Reference resources -- particularly subject encyclopedias -- are great starting points for your research. Encyclopedia articles offer concise overviews of a topic, summaries of key research in a particular discipline, and often include a bibliography which can serve as a starting list of sources for your project.

Discover Scholarly Books and Articles - Fall 2021

  • To find books (films, journal & newspaper subscriptions, databases) within Dartmouth's collection, start with our library catalog - essentially our inventory. 
  • Books can provide extensive information on topic, and its broader context, that a short article simply can't address.
  • Catalog records for physical items show location (specific library), Call Number (where it's shelved), as well as the Status (whether it's currently on loan or not).
  • Catalog records for online items include links to our licensed (or open access) copies
  • Need a book chapter or journal article?  Search the catalog by title for the book or journal that contains the chapter or article.
  • Need a chapter from a book that's not online?  Request a scan through DartDoc, our interlibrary loan service that can also be used for scan requests from the Dartmouth collection.
  • Lost in the stacks?  Maps of Baker-Berry are here.  Maps for additional campus libraries here.
  • Ready to borrow the book?  Take the book and your campus ID card to the Circulation Desk.
  • To find books beyond Dartmouth, try a subject bibliography or a large library network catalog, such as WorldCat. Materials not owned by Dartmouth can be requested through interlibrary loan: DartDoc & BorrowDirect

Dartmouth Library Catalog Advanced Search

For detailed academic discussions of more narrowly focused research, search an article index to find scholarly journal articles.

Like our library catalog, these bibliographies describe documents, rather than search their full-text.

  • These cover more than we own here at Dartmouth, but point you to scholarship in specific disciplines
  • Keep your searches fairly simple, as there's not much content in the item records to match against
  • Take note of any specialized subject terminology assigned to relevant items, and try incorporating some of those subject terms into new searches.

Search tips: More searchable content means larger result sets, and many full-text databases lack detailed cataloging or metadata.

  • You are at the mercy of whatever wording the author used.  Be creative in search terminology variations
  • Improve precision with quotation marks, to force a phrase search.  ["Emily Dickson" is very different than Emily Dickinson]
  • Searching scholarly articles?  Try limiting to the past five or ten years, and then trust those articles' bibliographies to point you to important earlier research.
  • Still too many results?  Try limiting your search to the document title field, or abstract field if available (check for advanced search options). This will eliminate some good results, but usually if the citation or abstract contains your search term, then the overall document is likely to be relevant.