Start your search in the library catalog, then look in subject specific databases for more specific results.
Boolean Search terms: AND gives you only results with both of your search terms, OR gives you results with either one of your search terms (but not necessarily both of them), NOT excludes results with that search term.
Start general, and refine to a specific search. If you have a general idea of what you would like to focus on, search a broad term, and then refine as you discover what is available.
Look at the subject terms and keywords that the articles you find are using. If they seem relevant, you may wish to incorporate them into your search terms.
If your results are too broad, add additional search terms to refine your search.
Searching for a specific phrase? Place it in quotation marks to search for those exact works in that order. For example: “To be or not to be” will find that specific phrase, rather than each word individually.
Need to find a word or phrase in an article PDF, an e-book, or on a webpage? Use CTRL and F to open a search box that will search the text within a document.
Anatomy of a Humanities Article
Humanities articles vary for field to field in structure and format. However, most articles will have these parts.
Title: tells you what the article is about in the most general sense. Titles in the humanities often consist of a catchy phrase, followed by a colon (:), and a Subtitle, which tells you in more detail what the paper will be about.
Abstract: describes the article in approximately 250 words. Look for keywords and terms to help determine if the article is relevant to your research.
Introduction: sets out the basics of the article, including what it will be discussing, and what is is attempting to prove.
Body: contains support for the Argument or Interpretation set forth in the introduction.
Conclusion: states the final conclusion of the scholar. Sometimes will include information on further avenues of thought or research.
References or Works Cited: Citations for every article referred to in the article. A Bibliography, by contrast, includes complete citations for every resource consulted.
Endnotes or Footnotes: provides supplemental information or citations.
Contains full text from more than 750 history reference books and encyclopedias, and cover-to-cover full text from nearly 60 history magazines. Also contains 58,000 historical documents; 43,000 biographies of historical figures; more than 12,000 historical photos and maps; and 87 hours of historical film and video.
Contains full text, citations, and indexing for over 500 English-language periodicals covering literature and language, history, philosophy, archaeology, classical studies, folklore, gender studies, performing arts, history, religion and theology.
Contains the entire text of The Dictionary of Art (34 volumes, covering all aspects of the visual arts of every civilization from prehistory to the 1990s) with annual additions of new material and updates to the text, plus extensive image links.