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Theatre 335: Getting Started

Culture of Carnival
Professor: Deborah Brothers
Fall 2018

Research Tip: Use Reference Sources

Use Reference Sources

Begin your research by using reference sources to get: 

  • ideas for your paper 
  • overviews of a topic
  • a list of recommended resources

Go beyond Wikipedia by using librarian-recommended reference sources.

Recommended Reference Sources

Following Footnotes

Following footnotes is one of the most important aspects of scholarly research. Academics use footnotes to provide background information and evidence for their claims. You can learn more about the subject or check the accuracy of their claims by finding and reading the original sources they cited.

Step 1: Identify the Type of Source Cited

There are distinctive features of a citation (highlighted in red below) that help you to determine what type of source it is:

Books 
Tom Nairn, Faces of Nationalism: Janus Revisited. New York: Verso, 1997, 17.

The distinctive feature of a book citation is the publishing place and name of the publisher.

Journal Articles
 Ilya Bodonski, "Caring among the Forgotten," Journal of Social Activism 14, no.3 (1989): 117.

Journal article citations have a title enclosed in quotation marks as well as volume and issue numbers. Instead of volume and issue, magazine and newspaper article citations have a month and year or full date.

Essays in Edited Collections/Book Chapters

Craig H. Roell, "The Piano in the American Home," in The Arts and the American Home, 1980-1930, ed. Jessica H. Foy and Karal Ann Marling (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1994), 194.

While book chapter citations have features that look like book and article citations, the distinctive elements are the words "in" and "ed." for editor.

Step 2: Find the Cited Source

For Books
Search the library catalog for the author and/or title. For more precise searches, use the Browse Search option. If we don't own the book, click the "Search other libraries" link under the search box to borrow from another library.

For Articles
Strategy 1: search the library catalog for the article title or use citation linker
Strategy 2: search the library catalog for the journal title. Look for the year the article was published as part of the holdings 
If we don't have the article, you can request a scan through interlibrary loan.

For Book Chapters
Search the library catalog for the editors or the title of the book (the title in italics); searches for the chapter author or title may not work. If we don't own the book, click the "Search other libraries" link under the search box to borrow it from another library or use interlibrary loan to request a scan of the needed chapter.