Creating a Search Strategy
Before conducting your search:
- Consider how your argument might be broken down into keywords or phrases.
- Compile a list of synonyms for those keywords. What other terms might scholars use to talk about your topic, and how do these terms reflect the type of argument scholars are making? (E.g., memory vs. nostalgia)
- Consider which intersections among your keywords will be useful for searching
Identify disciplines that are relevant to your research question. Also consider the ways in which your question might reside outside traditional disciplines or cut across them.
What to look for in your results:
- Articles that have appeared in peer-reviewed journals or essay collections. These articles will have been vetted by scholars with knowledge of the topic.
- While an article's date of publication is no direct measure of its value, you should make sure that an older article's argument has not been superseded by new research or methodologies before relying on it alone. Recent articles are also useful for their bibliographies, which have up-to-date resources on the same topic.
Visual Studies Materials
Depending on your interests, Magill library (as well as the other Trico libraries) will probably have many resources to look at. But determining your keywords will really help your search results. Here are some possibilities:
- The published series called "Interfaces, studies in visual culture" is published by Dartmouth College Press and might have useful materials on visual culture. Many of them are available digitally.
- The Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts publishes a series called "Clark Studies in the Visual Arts." We have our holdings available here.
- Try searching for something such as "visual literacy," for some basic books on seeing and writing about art.