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GERM 2500: Witches in History, Literature, & Film

Research strategies and resources.

Library Session Outline

Information for the library instruction sessions for GERM 2500, Spring 2024.

Presentation Slides

Research Notes worksheet

From Topic to Search

1. What is your research question?

  • Phrase your topic as a question.

  • Make your question specific.

  • Example: How does the portrayal of the evil stepmother in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs work as a symbol of female power?

2. Find background information about or context for your research question.

3. Decide on a keyword strategy for searching.

  • List nouns, synonyms or related terms, and phrases that describe your topic

  • Example terms list: stepmothers, mother - daughter relationships, fairy tales, symbolism, feminitiy

  • Example search: (fairly tales or folk tales) and stepmothers and feminity

    • More terms = more specific, fewer results

    • Fewer terms = more general, more results

4. Find books and articles.

5. At any stage, Ask Us or make a Research Consultation appointment.

Background Information & Encyclopedias


Citation and Organization

Organizing your work will help your writing process and help you create a successful research project.

  • How much time do you have? Use this Assignment Calcuator to stay on track to complete your project on time.
  • What style manual do you need to follow? Check with your instructor. Common citation styles are APA, MLA, Turabian, and Chicago. Quick explanations are on the Citations Tools page.
  • How will you save your citations? Use the "cite" feature available in several databases, such as JSTOR, to capture the citation information. Be sure to copy the stable URL. 

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