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Find scholarly background/reference information

  • These are sometimes called reference texts: encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases. Make sure to use subject-specific Anthropology encyclopedias rather than those intended for a more general audience
  • Many reference texts can be found in the Reference Collection, or by selecting "reference entries" under resource type using LibrarySearch. Some encyclopedias have also been moved to the Main Collection
  • Use these to
    • find background and in-depth information
    • find information on archaeological sites. artefacts, theories
    • enhance your understanding key concepts and to identify other sources of information about your topic


Looking critically at online resources


  • currency: how old is this? what does its publication details tell us about the kinds of conversations this resource engages in?
  • relevance: it might be great information, but it may not meet our needs
  • authority: who is writing it? what's their institutional affiliation? what credibility do they bring to this discussion?
  • accuracy: how does this compare to the trusted resources we start with, like encyclopedias and textbooks?
  • purpose: why is this online? for entertainment, to sell something, for education?

Search for Journal Articles

Search tips: 


 * to say "I don't care how this word ends" 

OR to combine alternate terms for the same concept group, e.g. huari OR wari

AND to combine different concepts, e.g.  (inca* OR inka*) AND (power* OR  ruler* OR king*)

Cite your sources in SAA format

Article Searching Tips

Finding too much?

  • Use AND between ideas to search for BOTH terms
  • Put “Quotation Marks Around Your Search" to search for exact phrases

Finding too little?

  • Use OR between your ideas to search for EITHER term
  • Put * after the root of a word to look for multiple endings

For better searching, think of multiple ways to describe your topic

What You Need to Know About Citation

Citation is stating where you got your information.

The reasons you cite:

  • To give credit where credit is due – to avoid plagiarizing
  • To give information about a source so people (i.e. your instructor) can find it

You need to cite:

  • In the paper (in-text citations)
  • At the end (reference list)
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Joel Blechinger
Phone: 403.440.8624
Office: EL4423E