Essay Quest: How to find the best sources

Within Global Studies, having essential readings as an online resource is a godsend! With so many different readings from different journals and authors, buying books would very quickly result in shedding out hundreds of pounds for a one time read. However when that oh so great (really not great) time comes when you have to write your essays, the library becomes your best friend. Whether it’s online or in person, the library has your back on your gruelling journey to deadline day. When it comes to finding sources to reference in you essays, searching for the right books and articles is always a blast! (Again it really isn’t). From writing essays in my foundation year I quickly learned that citing websites or newspapers is not the way to access the highest marks, so I had to adapt my method for finding references and resources. Now my essay quest always begins with what I would say are two of the most useful resources available, Google Scholar and Library Search.
These systems work exactly the same as if you were trying to find out what goes into cooking the perfect steak, but instead for your essays. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to start and search your essay title, or are looking for more targeted sources to back up your point, Google scholar offers you the most relevant books, journals and scholarly articles in relation to your search, perfect for referencing. Now 9 times out of 10 resources are instantly available online, thanks to the library’s many subscriptions to a plethora publishers such as Sage (very good for Geography), however sometimes you may actually have to leave the confines of your room to go and read a physical book (shocking, I know)! This is where library search becomes very handy, similar to Google Scholar it can also find you online versions of books and articles, however in that off chance you can’t access it or there isn’t one, the search will tell you if what you need is in our library, how many there are, and even where to find it,

Look at all those results!

so you can guarantee they’ve got what you need, before you put in the effort to make yourself presentable to the world. Although you can’t press CTRL+F on a book and search for key words, library books are often filled with years worth of wisdom from past students in the same situation as you. Some may beg to differ but I find nothing more satisfying then when I open a book and I already see things underlined *important* or pages circled in the contents, obviously you must still use your own intelligence to really identify what’s important, but it’s somewhat reassuring to know that you’re on the right track. Which so much information out in the world today, Google Scholar and Library Search are essentials in your essay writing game plan.

Andre Ryan

Posted in Accessing resources, Assessments, Assignments, Essays, Library, SAGE students

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