Research Strategy


Topic Overviews

  • General or specialized encyclopedias and textbooks (For electronic encyclopedias use Gale Virtual Reference Library)
  • Provide authoritative summaries that give an overview of a topic
  • Help identify and define key terms, and identify important people
  • Suggest other sources for more information on the topic
  • Identifies specific issues that can be used to focus your research question

  • Books and Ebooks

  • Go to the “Find/Search” menu on the navigation bar of any Renfro Library webpage and click on “Books and Media” to search the MHU Library Catalog
  • Search for titles and authors recommended by the sources from which you got your topic overviews
  • Do a “Subject” search using appropriate Library of Congress Subject Headings from the red books at the Research Assistance Desk
  • If you can’t find a good subject heading or the ones you find don’t produce any results in the catalog, try a word search using various keywords
  • For more help with the catalog see Catalog Search
  • To locate a book, use the location and call number information from the catalog
  • To view an ebook, click on the long link below location and call number
  • If our catalog doesn’t provide access to appropriate or sufficient resources, inquire about interlibrary loan

  • Magazine, Journal and Newspaper Articles

  • To find articles on a topic, use a periodical index. An index will tell you in which journal or newspaper (title, date and page) articles on your topic can be found
  • Go to the “Find/Search” menu on the navigation bar of any Renfro Library webpage and click on “Articles” to select a general or subject specific periodical index database
  • For help with searching databases, look for a Help or Search Tips link within the search screen or ask at the library Research Assistance Desk
  • If you find an article that is not available in full text in the database you searched, use the “Journal Locator” link located under the “Find/Search” menu on the navigation bar to see whether the library has the magazine or journal in which the article was published
  • If the publication is not available at MHU, ask about interlibrary loan

  • Finding Information on the Web

  • The Web offers access to a vast array of information, including top quality resources critical to good research as well as much that is biased, inaccurate, undocumented and/or out-of-date.
  • Websites should always be carefully evaluated. For tips on evaluating websites see Evaluating Websites.