Welcome! This page highlights key resources for conducting effective research for Critical Writing.
If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please schedule a research consultation.
Finding Books and Other Materials
- Go to CLIO and use the Catalog search to find books, journals (but not articles in journals), links to online journals, and other materials in the Barnard and Columbia libraries, including the Health Sciences Library.
- For a known item, search by Title, Author, standardized Library of Congress Subject Heading, ISBN, etc.
- For an All Fields keyword search, "use quotes" for a phrase, and * for truncation (to find variant endings of a word), e.g. feminis* finds feminism, feminist, feminists, etc.
- For a complex search, use Boolean Keyword searching:
- AND finds records which have all the search terms you entered;
- OR finds records which have one of the search terms you entered, as well as records which have more than one of the terms. OR finds MORE.
Worldcat: search for items in libraries worldwide.
BorrowDirect: borrow books directly from the libraries of Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, the University of Chicago, and Yale, in addition to select libraries of Harvard and MIT. Items requested through BorrowDirect typically deliver in 3 to 4 business days, with a 6-week loan period + one 6-week renewal.
Interlibrary Loan: borrow books, articles/book chapters, music scores, and selected audiovisual items (i.e. maps or films) that are not currently available at Columbia University Libraries. ILL has a larger scope of participating institutions than Borrow Direct.
If you are looking for secondary sources, check out these databases.
Arts and Humanities Citation Index features citations and abstracts for articles from leading journals in the arts and humanities, with some related content from sources in the social sciences and sciences. Coverage spans the early 20th century to the present. Results feature e-links to quickly search CLIO for electronic and print copies.
- Gender Studies Database combines databases in women's studies, men's studies, and child development & adolescent studies, along with selected material on sexuality studies. Sources covered include journal articles, books, conference papers, reports, dissertations, web sites, and other sources.
- Historical Abstracts offers citations and abstracts for publications relating to world history, excluding the US and Canada, from 1450 to the present.
- Humanities and Social Sciences Index Retrospective covers a broad range of scholary sources in the humanities and social sciences, with publication dates from 1907 to 1984.
- Humanities Full Text features citations and abstracts from scholarly sources in the humanities, as well as lesser known specialized magazines. Many of the entries are available in full text. Documents covered include articles, interviews, obituaries, bibliographies, original works of fiction, drama and poetry, book reviews, and reviews of performances, recordings, and films.
JSTOR includes page images of key scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences, with a particular strength in Languages and Literatures. Coverage spans the mid-19th century to the present.
Project MUSE provides full text scholarly journal articles, with citations and abstracts, from key sources in the humanities, with a special strength in literary studies. Content is updated daily, and coverage is extremely current. You can browse journals by title and discipline, and can also search articles by their assigned Library of Congress Subject Headings.
- Arts and Humanities Full Text provides full-text access to articles from journals in diverse areas of the arts and humanities, including sources in ethnic studies, women's studies, and other related fields.
- British Humanities Index offers access to citations from 320 internationally respected humanities journals and weekly magazines published in the UK and other English speaking countries, as well as UK newspapers. Topics covered include architecture, archaeology, art, antiques, education, economics, foreign affairs, environment, cinema, current affairs, gender studies, history, language, law, linguistics, literature, music, painting, philosophy, poetry, political science, religion, and theatre.
- MLA International Bibliography features citations and abstracts to scholarly articles on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore from around the world, with e-links to possible full text provided. Sources include periodicals, books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations and bibliographies. Coverage spans 1923 to the present.
- Periodicals Archive Online archives hundreds of digitized journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
- Sociological Abstracts
Writing and Citing
OWL: Purdue University Online Writing Lab provides general and subject specific writing tips and techniques, along with research advice and detailed citation and formatting standards for the APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.
Research and Documentation Online serves as the online version of Diana Hacker's guide Research and Documentation in the Electronic Age. It provides detailed citation and formatting standards for the APA, MLA, Chicago, and CSE styles, along with tips for research in subjects within the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Other features include a glossary of research terms, a list of additional style manuals organized by subject, and tips for evaluating sources.
Zotero is a free, open source program that allows you to quickly save, organize, format, and share your bibliographic citations.