Research Strategy

Topic Overviews

  • Topic Overviews in print are found in general or specialized encyclopedias.
  • For electronic encyclopedias, use Gale Virtual Reference Library.
  • They provide authoritative summaries that give an overview of a topic (great for beginning research).
  • They help identify and define key terms, and identify important people.
  • They suggest other sources for more information on the topic.
  • They identify specific issues that can be used to focus your research question.

Books and E-Books

  • 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

  • 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 a librarian.
  • 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 “Advanced 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top quality resources critical to good research as well as much that is biased, inaccurate, undocumented and/or out-of-date.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.