This course guide introduces students to the research process for finding resources that will help you write a university-level essay.
Please watch Video One for an introduction to the library services.
Pick a research topic
- Pick a topic that interests you and meets the objectives of the assignment
- Read your assignment instructions carefully
- Identify the key concepts of your research topic. Need help? Try Choosing an essay topic
- Watch this video for help with formulating your research question and thesis statement
- Consult this web page on Writing an outline for your essay
Do some background reading on your topic using Wikipedia
- it will help you to become familiar with a topic
- it may broaden your search terms
- watch the video: Using Wikepedia Wisely
Consult encyclopedias and handbooks to find introductions to key concepts and develop your background knowledge of your topic
Please watch Video Two on 'how to search for sources'.
To find books or journal articles, you have 2 options:
1. Use Omni to find all types of material, ie: journal articles, books, magazines, etc. Refer to the Searching Techniques sections on this guide to learn how to build good search strings with Boolean Operators.
- To find books on a topic in Omni, use keywords or phrases
- To find journal articles in Omni, you must use the filters to refine your search results
- Try using the Advanced Search in Omni and search by Subject (see controlled vocabulary search examples below)
- Quebec (Province)
- Quebec (Province) history Autonomy and independence
- Oka (Quebec) Politics and government
- Cree Indians Quebec (Province) Government relations
- English-French relations
- Refugees Quebec (Province) Montreal
- Nationalism Quebec (Province)
- If you need help, use the Omni Search Tips guide, email me, or schedule a research consultation
2. Search Databases for journal articles:
- America, History and Life - covers all areas of Canadian and U.S. history
- JSTOR - digital library of journal articles, books and primary sources on all topics
Basic Search Tips
1. Identify the main concepts of your research topic and brainstorm possible keywords.
2. Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to combine keywords and enhance your search. Boolean operators should be capitalized when searching Omni.
- Use AND to combine topics - "national identity" AND Oka
- Use OR to between related words or synonyms - women OR female
- Use NOT to exclude terms; gambling NOT lottery
- Use quotation marks to search for phrases, ex: "Quiet Revolution" "Quebec separatism"
- Use the asterisk* for word endings to broaden your search - Canad* = Canada, Canada's, Canadian, Canadians
- Use the question mark ? for single character wildcard - wom?n - for woman, women
3. Begin searching for material using Omni, the library's main search box to find books and other sources on your topic. Remember to filter your search by content type for each new search.
4. Here are the general filters for finding peer reviewed journal articles:
- Peer reviewed Journals
5. Here are the filters for finding books/monographs:
- Print/Physical Item
- Book chapters
- Subject - optional
- A short history of Quebec
- Arming and disarming: a history of gun control in Canada
- Buidling the future: a time for reconcilation: report
- Debating dissent: Canada and the Sixties
- Household politics: Montreal families and postwar reconstruction
- Making and breaking the rules: women in Quebec, 1919-1939
- Making history in twentieth-century Quebec
- National identity and the conflict at Oka: native belonging and myths of postcolonial nationhood in Canada
- Never without consent: James Bay Cree's stand again forcible inclusion into an independent Quebec
- Quebec since 1930
- The dream of a nation: a social and intellectual history of Quebec
Major Canadian News Sources & Databases
- Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec - contains major news sources (French & English)
- Canadiana - contains books, historical newspapers, periocials, images and nationally significant archival materials
- Canadian Business & Current Affairs - broad coverage of articles and news items from a Canadian perspective
- Canadian Newsstream - contains over 280 news sources from across Canada, including the Globe & Mail
- Eureka.cc - full text of Canadian French & English newspaper, radio & tv transcripts of CBC, CTV, SRC
- Globe and Mail: Canada's Heritage from 1844 - 2015 - contains G & M Archives
- Repère - includes 500 French journals published in Quebec on all subjects, 1980 to present.
Historical News Websites
- Essaying the past; how to read, write and think about history
- Going to the sources: a guide to historical research and writing
- Notes on writing a history essay (Dept. of History)
- Writing Services @ Carleton
- Citing your sources - select 'Chicago' style, (also known as Turabian)
- A manual for writers of research papers, theses and dissertations, by Kate L. Turabian (scanning option available)
- Intro to Chicago style footnotes - short video
- OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab