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Selecting a Topic For Your Research Paper

17 December 2009

The first thing to do when looking for a research topic:
find a subject area that interests you. After all, you will be spending several hours researching and writing your paper, you don’t want to be bored with your topic before you even start! Make sure to select a topic that is not too broad, but still has enough information on it to write a complete paper. With that in mind, take a look at some of the following sources for ideas:

 

Points of View Reference Center (EBSCO) 

(Database subscribed to Berkeley City College Library for off site access please come into library with current student I.D. and request a password.)
Browse through the catagories and topics for ideas. Points of View Reference Center also has a useful guide on “Choosing A Topic” and other useful guides linked on the right menu designed to assist researchers through the process of researching and writing a paper. Students can use Points of View as a guide to debate, developing arguments, writing position papers, and for development of critical thinking skills. Each Points of View Essay includes a series of questions and additional material to generate further thought. Also included are thousands of supporting articles from the world’s top political and societal publications.

INTERNET RESOURCES

Documents in the News: Current Events Research (http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/docnews.html)
From the University of Michigan Library’s Document Center. Identifies current events in the news dating back to 1995, and links to web sites with further information.

Frontline (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline)
The PBS show Frontline links to reports on a wide variety of current topics.
Hot Paper Topics (http://library.sau.edu/bestinfo/Hot/hotindex.htm)
A listing of topics from the “Best Information on the Net” web site.
Subject Guide for Hot Topics Supersites (http://infodome.sdsu.edu/research/guides/hot/list.shtml)
San Diego State University Library has compiled a list of  internet sites which have resources on many controversial topics of current interest.
Idea Generator (http://www.lib.odu.edu/libassist/idea/index.php)
A listing of topics from the Old Dominion University Libraries web site.
Public Agenda Online (http://www.publicagenda.org)
Current issues from a non-profit public policy research organization.
Research Questions: Persuasion (http://valencia.cc.fl.us/lrcwest/kaysmith.html)
Topic suggestions for papers dealing with the pros and cons of a controversial issue.
Speakout.com -Issues (http://speakout.com/activism/issues/)
Provides a useful list of current controversial topics and subtopics.

Is Your Topic Too Broad or Too Narrow?

Too Broad?
You have decided you are interested in Global Warming. Well, that is a broad subject area likely to have a large amount of information written on it. To narrow your topic, choose some specific aspect of global warming, such as: Is Global Warming Affecting Our Climate?
Just Right!   Is Global Warming Affecting Our Climate?

Too Narrow?
If you had continued narrowing your topic, and decided to write a paper on Global Warming and its Effect on U.S. Snowfall Amounts, you would probably find that it was difficult to gather enough information on this topic. In that case, you could broaden your topic back out to Is Global Warming Affecting Our Climate?

Additional Internet Resources
to Help with Refining Your Topic:

Refining a Topic
(http://library.duke.edu/services/instruction/libraryguide/refining.html)
Duke University Libraries

How to Narrow or Broaden Your Topic
(http://www2.library.ucla.edu/libraries/college/11605_11640.cfm)
UCLA Libraries

Filed under: Library Guides

Guide to Philosophy Resources

16 December 2009

GUIDE TO RESOURCES FOR PHILOSOPHY

ELECTRONIC RESOURCES

REFERENCE RESOURCES

Reference resources are a good place to start research. They can help you find background information, choose topics, and understand concepts and terminology. To access online resources from off campus you will need to obtain passwords from the library with your current student i.d.

CREDO : an online database that provides online access to over 300 reference books including:

  • Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Philosophers
  • Bloomsbury Guide to Human Thought
  • The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy
  • Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained
  • Companion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy
  • Dictionary of Existentialism
  • Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers
  • A Dictionary of Philosophy
  • Dictionary of World Philosophy
  • The Edinburgh Encyclopedia of Continental Philosophy
  • Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy
  • Encyclopedia of Empiricism
  • Encyclopedia of Ethics
  • Encyclopedia of Postmodernism
  • Feminist Philosophies A-Z
  • Great Thinkers A-Z
  • Key Ideas in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language
  • Key Thinkers in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Political Philosophy

HISTORY REFERENCE CENTER available via EBSCO offers full text from more than 1,620 reference books, encyclopedias and non-fiction books.

BOOKS

NETLIBRARY: provides online access to over 10,000 books. To access these books from off campus you will need to create a username and password using a computer on-campus or you can email Josh Boatright at jboatright@peralta.edu and request that he create an account for you.
Some of the philosophy books available via NetLibrary include:

  • After Theory
  • American Philosophy: an Encyclopedia 
  • Aristotle On the Goals and Exactness of Ethics
  • Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future
  • Comparative History of World Philosophy: From the Upanishads to Kant
  • Complete Idiot’s Guide to Philosophy
  • Demythologizing Heidegger
  • Descartes’s Imagination: Proportion, Images, and the Activity of Thinking
  • Dialogues of Plato
  • Echoes: After Heidegger
  • Ends of Philosophy
  • Experimental Philosophy
  • Foucault’s Challenge: Discourse, Knowledge, and Power in Education
  • From Myth to Reason?: Studies in the Development of Greek Thought
  • Hegel On History
  • Hegel’s Ethics of Recognition
  • Hegel’s Political Philosophy: A Systematic Reading of the Philosophy of Right
  • Hegel’s Theory of Madness
  • Infectious Nietzsche
  • Language and The Feminine in Nietzsche and Heidegger
  • Linguistic Philosophy: the Central Story
  • Matter in Mind: A Study of Kant’s Transcendental Deduction
  • Max Weber: Readings and Commentary on Modernity
  • Modernism, Daily Time and Everyday Life
  • New Philosophy: Henri Bergson
  • Nietzsche and Depth Psychology
  • Nietzschean Narratives
  • Nietzsche’s Anthropic Circle: Man, Science, and Myth
  • Oxford Companion to Philosophy
  • Philosophy and Rhetoric in Dialogue: Redrawing Their Intellectual Landscape
  • Philosophy and Theology in the Middle Ages
  • Philosophy of Language: A Contemporary Introduction
  • Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia
  • Philosophy: A Guide to the Reference Literature
  • Plato On Rhetoric and Language: Four Key Dialogues
  • Renaissance Theory
  • Social Constructivism and the Philosophy of Science
  • Sovereignty of Art.: Aesthetic Negativity in Adorno and Derrida
  • Thinking On Screen: Film As Philosophy
  • What’s Within?: Nativism Reconsidered
  • Words, Thoughts, and Theories

ARTICLES

For articles on Art subjects there are anumber of EBSCO databases that may be useful for your research:

ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIER provides full-text access to more than 4,600 interdisciplinary journals.

COMMUNICATION & MASS MEDIA COMPLETE provides full-text access to 380 journals in communication, mass media, and other closely-related fields of study.

RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY COLLECTION provides extensive coverage of such topics as world religions,religious history, epistemology, political philosophy, philosophy of language, moral philosophy and the history of philosophy.

IMAGES

ARTSTOR is a digital library of nearly one million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences. To access ARTstor from off campus you will need to create a username and password using a computer on-campus or you can email Josh Boatright at jboatright@peralta.edu and request that he create an account for you.

PRINT RESOURCES

To search the library’s holdings use the library catalog.  If you wish to browse the collection, books are arranged by Library of Congress Call Numbers which are directly linked to the books primary subject headings.  To browse books primarily concerned with philosophy, browse the B section of the stacks:

CLASS B – PHILOSOPHY.  PSYCHOLOGY.  RELIGION
B1-5802 = Philosophy (General)
B69-99 = General works
B108-5802 = By period Including individual philosophers and schools of philosophy

B108-708 = Ancient
B720-765 = Medieval
B770-785 = Renaissance
B790-5802 = Modern

B808-849 = Special topics and schools of philosophy
B850-5739 = By region or country
B5800-5802 = By religion

If you have trouble finding the resources for your research, please don’t hesitate to come see a librarian in the library who is there to assist you in identifying and finding the resources you need or feel free to email Josh Boatright, jboatright@peralta.edu , if you wish assistance via email.

Filed under: Library Guides, Uncategorized

Guide To Art Resources

16 December 2009

GUIDE TO RESOURCES FOR ART

ELECTRONIC RESOURCES

REFERENCE RESOURCES

Reference resources are a good place to start research. They can help you find background information, choose topics, and understand concepts and terminology. To access online resources from off campus you will need to obtain passwords from the library with your current student i.d.

CREDO : an online database that provides online access to over 300 reference books including:

  • A Biographical Dictionary of Artists
  • The Bloomsbury Guide to Art
  • The Bridgeman Art Library Archive
  • Critical Terms for Art History
  • The Encyclopedia of American Folk Art
  • Miller’s Antiques Encyclopedia
  • The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Art
  • The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Art and Artists
  • The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of British Art
  • The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Design Since 1900
  • The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion Designers
  • The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Graphic Design and Designers
  • The Thames & Hudson Encyclopaedia of Impressionism

HISTORY REFERENCE CENTER available via EBSCO offers full text from more than 1,620 reference books, encyclopedias and non-fiction books.

BOOKS

NETLIBRARY: provides online access to over 10,000 books. To access these books from off campus you will need to create a username and password using a computer on-campus or you can email Josh Boatright at jboatright@peralta.edu and request that he create an account for you.
Some of the art books available via NetLibrary include:

  • African-American Art
  • Ars Electronica: Facing the Future: a Survey of Two Decades
  • Art History: The Basics
  • The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology
  • Art of Artificial Evolution: a Handbook on Evolutionary Art and Music
  • Art Power
  • Becoming a Graphic Designer: A Guide to Careers in Design
  • Careers for Color Connoisseurs & Other Visual Types
  • Careers in Art
  • Collectivism After Modernism: The Art of Social Imagination After 1945
  • Crossing Borders Through Folklore: African American Women’s Fiction and Art
  • Decadent Culture in the United States: Art and Literature against the American Grain, 1890-1926
  • The Domain-matrix: Performing Lesbian At the End of Print Culture
  • Educating Artists for the Future: Learning at the Intersections of Art, Science, Technology, and Culture
  • Great Jobs for Art Majors
  • Historical Dictionary of Renaissance Art
  • Imagining the Unimaginable: World War, Modern Art, & the Politics of Public Culture in Russia, 1914-1917
  • Issues in Curating Contemporary Art and Performance
  • The Interpretation of Pictures
  • Michelangelo’s Last Judgment: The Renaissance Response
  • The Oxford Companion to Christian Art and Architecture
  • Practice of Public Art
  • Renaissance Theory
  • Shaping of Art History: Meditations on a Discipline
  • Snap to Grid: A User’s Guide to Digital Arts, Media, and Cultures

ARTICLES

For articles on Art subjects there are anumber of EBSCO databases that may be useful for your research:

ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIER provides full-text access to more than 4,600 interdisciplinary journals.

COMMUNICATION & MASS MEDIA COMPLETE provides full-text access to 380 journals in communication, mass media, and other closely-related fields of study.

RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY COLLECTION provides extensive coverage of such topics as world religions,religious history, epistemology, political philosophy, philosophy of language, moral philosophy and the history of philosophy.

IMAGES

ARTSTOR is a digital library of nearly one million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences. To access ARTstor from off campus you will need to create a username and password using a computer on-campus or you can email Josh Boatright at jboatright@peralta.edu and request that he create an account for you.

PRINT RESOURCES

To search the library’s holdings use the library catalog.  If you wish to browse the collection, books are arranged by Library of Congress Call Numbers which are directly linked to the books primary subject headings. To browse books primarily concerned with art, browse the N section of the stacks:

CLASS N = FINE ARTS

  • Subclass N = Visual Arts
  • Subclass NA = Architecture
  • Subclass NB = Sculpture
  • Subclass NC = Drawing, Desigh, Illustration
  • Subclass ND = Painting
  • Subclass NE = Print Media
  • Subclass NK = Decorative Arts
  • Subclass NX = Arts in general

If you have trouble finding the resources for your research, please don’t hesitate to come see a librarian in the library who is there to assist you in identifying and finding the resources you need or feel free to email Josh Boatright, jboatright@peralta.edu , if you wish assistance via email.

Filed under: Library Guides

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