This guide has been developed to save time and help produce a better research paper. It will guide you through the library research process and inform you of the best resources for your topic. If you need assistance at any time, please ask for help at a Reference Desk.
[If you are not affiliated with BYU, you may not have full access to some of the electronic resources discussed.]
Select a broad topic of interest to you. You will refine and narrow your topic as you go. The following lists will assist you in deciding on a beginning broad topic. These lists are available on the Subject Research Guides page.
a. Library Research Guides - Broad subject categories, each with a step by step guide created for that subject.
b. Background Study Guides - Each guide includes a tailored four-page worksheet using the library research strategy.
It is essential to use the proper terms for your subject, especially as you search electronic resources. Begin a listof terminology which is used in the literature for your topic, adding to it as you go along. There are several good sources to look up terminology.
a. Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) (Located at all Reference Desks).
b. Thesaurus of Hispanic American Periodical Index (Level 1 Social Science Ref AI3 .H57x 1975).
c. Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors (Level 1 Social Science Reference, or the ERIC database).
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Do a brief background search using encyclopedias, general and specialized, and other reference sources to gain a basic understanding of your topic. Look for relevant terminology, how a subject is subdivided, and any useful bibliographies--names of important works/scholars in the field. Names that repeatedly appear in your articles are most likely authorities. Paying attention to their ideas will be very helpful. As you read, be alert to questions and issues being discussed and how you might begin to narrow your topic.
The following are some of the best sources for background information about Brazilian and Portuguese literature:
Other Specialized Sources will be located very near these.Check individual numbers for country sources. The Humanities Religion Reference Desk also has a helpful list of Reference resources.
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With background gleaned from the above reference sources, you should have an awareness of the various sub-divisions of your topic, and the issues of your topic that are being discussed and researched.You are now prepared to narrow the scope of your research and write an "issue question" which you can research.
For example: "What are the characteristics of Brazilian romantic novels?"
Since many research resources are computerized, prepare to do an electronic search by, first, underlining the main or keywords in your issue question.
Example: "What are the characteristics of Brazilian romantic novels?"
Using the following chart, place the keywords in separate concept boxes. Add additional synonymous terms from your terminology
list within each concept box.
How to phrase a "keyword" search:
To Perform a Basic Search
a. Enter the subject or author in the Search Box. If desired, select one library to limit your search by using the pull-down box labeled library
Enter author's last name first (omitting punctuation):Ramos Ricardo
Enter titles, omit initial articles: Toada para surdos
Enter subjects without dashes: Art Brazil History (NOT Art-Brazil-History)
b. Select the search type desired: Keyword or Alphabetical
Use Keyword to find records containing the word(s) entered.
Use Alphabetical to get an alphabetical list of records beginning with the first word entered.
c. Select one of the seven light blue buttons indicating the category or field(s) available to search. (Keyword Anywhere,
Author, Title, Periodical Title, Series Title, Subject, Genre/Form)
To Perform an Advanced Search
a. Enter your keyword search in the search box(es). You can
Truncate keywords by adding a $ to the end of root words (for multiple character truncation) or a ? (for single
character wild card).
Link words with Boolean Operators (AND,OR, XOR or NOT)
Link words with Positional Operators (SAME, WITH, ADJ, NEAR) SAME is the default between words.
b. Select keyword anywhere, author, title, periodical title, series title, subjector genre/form from the left pull-down
c. Select AND, OR, XOR, or NOT from the right pull-down box.
d. Click on Search Catalog to execute the search.
e. To limit your search, scroll down and select from the pull-down menus.
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To Perform a Call No. Search
a. Type in the Call Number in the search box.
b. Limit your search, if desired, by library, location, shelving scheme.
c. Click on Browse Shelves to execute the search.
The researcher uses articles published in current periodicals (magazines/journals) to get the most current research. A variety of periodical indexes (databases) are available on BYLINE by selecting the "Articles Indexes" tab. Note the major subject disciplines. Select Brazil or Portuguese Language & Lit.
If you have any questions, please check at the reference desk for assistance. The following periodical indexes are recommended for Brazilian and Portuguese literature and are available on BYLINE:
There are also indexes listed under "General" which may be helpful. These two, and Academic Search Premier (EBSCO), have the advantage of retrieving many articles available in full text.
If internet resources are needed/allowed, first use those recommended
by the subject librarian under "Selected Web Sources". One such web site
for Latin America is UT-LANIC
operated by the University of Texas Institute of Latin American Studies.
You may also wish to go directly to the home page of Alta Vista or Yahoo.
Remember to watch the screens for search "tips" or "helps" or "Advanced Search" buttons which will use many of the Boolean concepts discussed. Sometimes thousands of hits will be found, but remember to use caution, as most will not be reliable or scholarly. As you evaluate Internet resources, you may find clues in the URL (address) which can alert you to the type of agency responsible for that site thus helping you assess its credibility.
.edu or .gov (educational or government) are usually more factual, while .org or .com (organization or commercial) usually express more of an opinion or try
to persuade the reader.
There may be additional resources which could be used in your research.
5. Evaluate/Select/Cite Resources
Use the following criteria to evaluate your resources:
Cite resources using the writing style manual recommended by your instructor. The main style manuals can be found at the General Reference Desk or on the Style Manuals page.
You are now ready to write your paper.
|PQ9191-9255 for authors 1500-1700||PQ9696(A-Z) for authors to 1800|
|PQ9261(A-Z) for authors 1701-1960||PQ9697(A-Z) for authors 1801-1960|
|PQ9262-9288 for authors 1961-||PQ9698.1-9698.36 for authors 1961-|
Check the Library of Congress Subject Heading manuals for possible subject headings.