First Year Writing: Legacy of the Mediterranean

Unknown artist. Gold ring representing Penelope waiting for Odysseus. Syria, last quarter of 5th century BC. Cabinet des Medailles, Bibliotheque Nationale de France. Image via Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.

Welcome! This research guide was designed to share strategies, tips, and resources to support  research in Professor Shelly Fredman's class First Year Writing: Legacy of the Mediterranean.

If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms, or strategies, please feel free to Schedule a research consultation with your personal librarian




Getting Started | Finding Books and Media | Articles | Citing Your Sources | Additional Resources

Getting Started

  • Think of a topic or question that you're really curious about, that really compels you. 
  • Write down some keywords and phrases that come to mind. You can use these to search. Be open to the possibility of new keywords, and try out different combinations!
  • Explore backgrounds and contexts. Reference sources can help you with concepts and terms, and they can also lead you to other relevant sources.
  • Search for books and articles on your topic. Carefully skim each source---including the synopsis, abstract, table of contents, and/or index--- to assess how relevant and useful it will be to you. 
  • Cite the sources you find and want to use as soon as you can.

Finding Books and Other Materials at the Columbia Libraries

CLIO provides access to the vast resources of the Columbia University Libraries, including Barnard Library, but excluding Teachers College and the Law Library. Search the Catalog for book and media materials.

  • If you have a specific source in mind, use the dropdown menu to search by Title, Author, ISBN, etc. 
  • If you're searching around a topic, select Keyword from the drop-down menu and enter some search terms. tips: Use quotes to search words together "as a phrase." Use the * to truncate or stem search related words (for example, activis* searches activist, activists, activism, etc.)

If a title isn't available via Columbia University Libraries, you can request it via Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan.

Worldcat searches libraries worldwide. 

How to find a Barnard book @ Butler Library from IMATS @ Barnard on Vimeo.

Finding Scholarly Articles

To search across multiple databases at once, use the CLIO Articles search. The facet boxes on the left can help you limit your results by publication date, subject heading, source type, and more (you can also limit to scholarly articles, if you wish).

For a more focused search, use a subject specific database. Some examples of subject specific databases (access each by clicking on the title link):

  • Gender Studies Database brings together scholarly sources, including articles and book chapters, in the studies of women, gender, and sexuality.
  • Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search tool that collects citations (and, in some cases, links to full text) of scholarly sources across subject areas and publishing formats. It's a very broad search, but it can be especially useful for tracing who has cited a book or article that interests you.
  • Historical Abstracts covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, women's history, and history of education. 
  • Humanities Full Text brings full text (starting 1995) plus abstracts and bibliographic indexes (starting 1984) of noted scholarly sources in the humanities, as well as lesser known specialized magazines.
  • JSTOR provides access to core journals in many scholarly fields, including History, Literature, Sociology, and Women's Studies, from the earliest issues to within a few years of current publication.
  • MLA Bibliography indexes critical materials on literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore (excluding ancient studies---look to other databases for that coverage). It provides access to citations from worldwide publications, but not the full text article. If an e-link does not work, consider ordering the article via ILL or contact your personal librarian.
  • Proquest Direct is a multidisciplinary database of magazines, newspapers, scholarly journals and dissertations, including the full text of the New York Times from 1851 to the present.

TIP: If you are unable to get access to the full text of an article, check to see if the database you are searching displays an e-link. Click on the e-link to check for full text access through Columbia's subscriptions. If you still can't access an article, use Interlibrary Loan's article request feature to request a scanned copy of the article from another library (the request can take anywhere between a day and a week to get filled). 

Citing Your Sources

  • Citation management software allows you to manage your citations and save a lot of time! Most tools allow you to grab citations directly from CLIO, databases, and Google Scholar. Tip: While these tools can quickly generate bibliographies for you, double-check to make sure they're formatted the right way.
  • Cite Source from Trinity College Libraries shows you how to cite books, articles, tweets, podcasts, art works, blog posts, and more in th efollowing styles: ACS, APA, APSA, ASA, Chicago, and MLA.
  • The Craft of Research is an online book with advice on all stages of the research process.
  • Purdue University Online Writing Lab offers formatting and style guides for APA and MLA.

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