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English

Professional Practice of Writers and Scholars

Graduate school is a practice in becoming--practicing skills, trying on schools of thought, opening yourself to new ways of thinking, rethinking what you thought to be true, becoming a scholar. Unfortunately, the academic calendar creates an artificial structure that can box in scholarship/knowledge creation. Recognize you are working within the constraints of a system while understanding our practice need not be perfect to be generative.

How to start?

Start with a question or a problem and go looking for ALL of the answers or solutions. Don't limit yourself to a predetermined thesis. Allow those that came before you to guide you. You're entering a conversation that began long before you started asking questions. Be humble. 

Where to search?

Everywhere. That's not fair. Everywhere is overwhelming, but definitely in multiple places. As an undergraduate, cherry-picking a few sources from one place might have worked okay. As a graduate student, however, the goal is different. You are trying to become an expert in an area of scholarship which means locating the depth of what has been written. This requires time and ingenuity.

Books

Databases

English Language and Literature

Multidisciplinary/Other Disciplines

Other Resources to Know

Interlibrary Loan (is your friend)

Contrary to what Google would have you believe, most information is not free. Rod Library pays a lot of money for the resources you access through our databases, unfortunately, budgets never go as far as we wish they would. If we do not have access to the material you need, our Interlibrary Loan staff will try to get it for you. 

In addition to filling out the form, many of our databases include a yellow "Find It" button. yellow find it button

This button will sometimes open the article's full-text from another product to which we subscribe. However, if we do not have full-text access, it will take you to a library catalog (OneSearch) screen where you can "Request from ILLiad."

NOTE: You must sign in to your Rod Library account using your CatID to see this option in the library catalog.

Google Scholar (may or may not be)

Rod Library Google Scholar search bar

Google Scholar is a wonderful tool for your toolbox, but like any other tool, it cannot be the only one you use. Use Google Scholar with eyes wide open and 

  1. access it through the Rod Library homepage to also access UNI-accessible PDFs.
  2. evaluate the results (including checking the journal's credibility in which the article was published).
  3. Use it IN ADDITION to other databases, not in replacement of them. 
  4. do not pay for research! Utilize ILL or email your librarian for help.