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Dance 107: Samba

A Research Guide for Dance 107, Samba, Fall 2018

Search Strategies

Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research:

  • Begin by narrowing down your topic and developing an initial research question.
  • Use the keyword brainstorming worksheet (or this online keyword generator) to help you tweak your research question, identify keywords and related terms, and keep track of what you find.  
  • Search in a library catalog (Summon, OBISOhioLINK and/or WorldCat) to find books and reference sources.  These sources will:
    • provide BACKGROUND and CONTEXT
    • REVIEW and SUMMARIZE earlier work
    • help you FOCUS your topic and
    • provide CITATIONS to important books, journal articles, conference papers, interviews, etc.
  • Next, search research databases to find articles. The library has hundreds of databases; those listed on this guide are good places to begin.
  • You may also wish to use Google Scholar to search the Internet.  This is a great tool for doing cited reference searches.
  • Finally, use the CRAAP test worksheet to evaluate the sources you find.

What is a Scholarly Article?

Both scholarly and peer-reviewed articles are written by experts in academic or professional fields. Scholarly articles are published in journals for specific academic disciplines. Many scholarly journals are also peer-reviewed.

Peer-reviewed articles are submitted to reviewers who are experts in the field. Because the reviewers specialize in the same scholarly area as the author, they are considered the author’s peers (hence “peer review”).

Both scholarly and peer-reviewed articles are excellent places to find what has been studied or researched on a topic, as well as find references to additional relevant sources of information. 

What is a Popular Source?

Popular sources are written for a general audience and are intended to inform readers on a broad range of topics, such as news events, topics of current interest, and the business and entertainment worlds.  Examples include newspapers, magazines, best-sellers, and consumer-oriented websites. They can be useful for getting ideas for a topic or for background information. When used to document historical events, cultural practices, or public opinion, popular sources may be valuable to researchers as primary source material. 

Typical characteristics of popular sources:

  • informal in tone and scope, with language that is easily understood by the general public
  • often include illustrations or advertisements
  • content usually written by journalists, staff writers, or free-lance writers
  • do not report on original research, are not peer-reviewed, and rarely include citations