The focus of this course guide is to introduce you to online resources that will be useful for researching and writing a university-level academic paper.
Do some background reading on your topic using Wikipedia
- it will help you become more familiar with your topic
- it may broaden your search terms
- watch this video for tips: Using Wikepedia Wisely
Use online reference sources to identify key concepts
E-books for Global Studies
- The Oxford handbook of global studies
- What is Global Studies? Theory & Practice
- Global Studies Research
- Routledge International Handbook of Globalization Studies
- Thinking Globally: a global studies reader
To find journal articles using Databases, you have 3 options:
1. Use Omni, the library's main search box
- type in the keywords of your topic or use the Advanced Search option
- this tool searches most of the library's databases, simultaneously, for all types of material, ie: peer reviewed journals, articles, book reviews, books/e-books, newspapers, magazines, videos, reports, maps, etc.
- each search can return many results (much like Google), so you must use the filters to refine your search results
- Need help? Try Omni Search Tips
2. Search a specialized database
- Business Source Complete
- Columbia International Affairs Online with links to The Economist
- EconLit with full text
- PAIS Index
3. Use a search engine
- Google Scholar - accessed via the library's web site; select Carleton University for links to full-text articles which the library subscribes.
Tips for effective searching
- when using the Databases or OMNI, look for the recommended 'Related readings' or 'Find Similar Results' options
- discover more papers & books published by the author or co-authors by doing an Author search on Omni
- if you find one relevant article for your research, it can lead to other relevant papers by exploring the bibliography
Search Strategies for Omni and library Databases
Most databases do not support natural language searches. Be precise with keywords you select to search. Follow these steps:
1. Identify the main keywords of your research topic.
- By using AND, you are narrowing your search
- By using OR to connect synonyms, you are expanding your search.
- Using NOT, excludes terms.
Here are a few search examples:
- "renewable energy" AND globalization
- (banking OR finance) AND "economic crisis"
- tourism AND "global connections"
- globalization AND "fine arts" (then use Filter for 'Fine Arts' on Omni)
3. When searching for phrases, use quotation marks to ensure words are searched together. Example: "One Belt"
4. Use the truncation symbol to broaden your search. By adding the asterisk * at the end of a root word, the search will find various word endings.
- Example: econ* will find economy, economic, economics, economist
5. Begin searching for material with Omni to find books and other sources on your topic.
- Remember to filter your search by Content type such as 'peer reviewed journals' for each new search.
7. Need help? Omni Search Tips
- BBC World News
Please note: Visitors to Bloomberg.com have access to 10 free articles per month, after that a subscription fee is required. The library also subscribes to Bloomberg Professional. To use it, you must set up a free account (instructions are here)
Other news databases
- EIU.com: Includes country reports, economic policy, weekly briefing on business related news, etc.
- Business Source Complete: Includes indexing for scholarly journals and magazines, trade publications, country reports, and market research.
- All News Databases @ Carleton
Definition: "information produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in electronic and print formats, not controlled by commercial publishing."
This can include government information, international and non-governmental organization publications, conference proceedings, think-tank information, reports and magazines. Consult the Grey Literature Help guide for more help.
Useful websites for grey literature include:
IGOs and NGOs
Use Omni to find books
Here are a few search tips to find books/eBooks:
- do a keyword search in the box provided
- filter the results by 'Books' under Resource Type; to find eBooks, select 'Available Online' under Availability
- view instructions for finding eBooks on Omni
- when using the Advanced Search option, filter by Subject (a controlled vocabulary of words and phrases), then select Books, as Material Type.
- Here are some subjects to try searching that are relevant to this course: Globalization - China, Renewable energy sources
- After finding book(s) on your topic, use the Virtual Browse feature to discover other titles
- Need help? Try Omni Search Tips
Search eBook Collection Databases:
Geographers most often use APA citation style:
Referencing your sources is an important part of academic writing. Why?
- it lets you acknowledge the ideas or words of others when you use them in your work
- it helps you to avoid plagiarism
- it demonstrates that you are using the scholarly record and that you can provide authority for statements you make in your term paper
- it enables readers to find the source information
- Writing is a powerful tool of communication that promotes original thought, but it takes time.
- Devote sufficient time to research and writing.
- Plan your writing and essay structure.
- Learn to write a focused research question and thesis statement (when applicable).
- Edit and revise your work. Do this days (not minutes), before it is due!
- Ask for comments and feedback from your instructor or TA.
- Read your 'final' essay out loud for clarity of language and expression of your ideas.
- Communicating in geography and environmental sciences (the above noted Tips are from this book)
If you need help with your writing, contact Writing Services. They can help you with developing developing your ideas, creating an outline and thesis statement and writing well.