Research plays a critical role in the arts. There is a strong connection between reading, writing, thinking and analysis and the creation of a work of art, whether it is a set design or a symphony. Research is process-driven but the steps are easy to master.
First, understand your topic. Do you need clarification from your instructor? Will a quick check of an encyclopedia suffice?
Next, get organized. Set up a file on your laptop or get an actual file folder for notes, handouts, printouts of articles, etc. How much information do you need? Is your subject too broad? Narrow it by focusing on specifics like a certain time period or facet of the subject instead of the whole field. Too narrow? Do the reverse; look at wider sets of information.
What type of information do you need? Historical, current, in-depth or a quick critique? The answer to these questions determines the sources you consult.
Start your research. Locate your sources, read, take notes, and always review your assignment to stay on track. Remember to keep the call numbers of materials you consult or search terms you used in an online search. If you have questions, just ask. We're here to help.
The online catalog is a database of the library's holdings. Type your search term in the box below to begin. You can search the catalog by title, author, subject and keyword.
If you are searching for what a particular author has written, use an author search, typing the author's last name first. If you are looking for criticisms or reviews of an author's work, use a subject search, again typing the author's last name first.
For a book with the call number PS3537 T3234 G8 1986b:
The first set of numbers and letters are read alphabetically then numerically:
you’ll look for PS after PR
then 3537 in numerical order within the PSs
The next set of letters is again alphabetical but the numbers are in decimal order:
look for the Ts
then 3234 will come after 31 but before 33.