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FYS 199-19 Borders Boundaries, Barriers (Swift) Fall 2023

General Guide for all W&J library has to offer for FYS Classes

Find Contextual Information

Finding contextual information is an important part of the research process. It helps you:

  • learn about topics with which you are unfamiliar
  • identify important facts related to your topic - keywords, dates, events, history, and names and organizations
  • refine your topic
  • find additional sources of information through bibliographies and works cited


Remember to keep going back to your question:

  1. What is my topic? 
  2. Which sources are best for your topic?
  3. How will I manage and cite my sources?

Newspaper Databases

Use our newspaper databases to find newspaper articles on your topic. This is a great way to get some background information, refine your topic, develop keywords, and learn about current events or issues.

Google and Google Scholar Search Tips

Further Reference Databases

See Databases A-Z to search for databases. Most databases are paid for by the library, but some are freely available to all. 

Specific Databases, Museum websites and Art Encyclopedia's to try, starting with the top three for beginning your study:

Citation Chaining/Mining

In addition to searching in Discovery and in different databases on your own, another search strategy for finding resources utilizes the information that you gather through that searching. Nearly all scholarly sources, and many other reputable sources of information, will include Works Cited, Reference, or Bibliography pages (some will also include footnotes or endnotes). These are treasure troves of likely relevant resources to your topic. This method of searching, referred to as Citation Chaining or Citation Mining, can also be useful for figuring out the prominent scholars in a particular field. Dissertations and theses can be excellent resources for Citation Mining because their bibliographies tend to be very thorough.