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Today's Objectives

By the end of today’s Library session, you will be able to:

  • distinguish between different types of scholarly and popular sources
  • critically evaluate the credibility of sources
  • identify key search terms
  • locate relevant scholarly articles and books using different search tools

Activity #1 - Evaluating Sources

As a group, take a look at your assigned source and discuss the following questions for the next 5 minutes. 

  • What type of source is this? (e.g. scholarly peer reviewed journal article, scholarly book, magazine article, history website, entry in an encyclopedia or dictionary)
  • Is this source trustworthy enough to use for an assignment in this course? Why or why not?

Group 1. Senses and Sensibility in Byzantium

Group 2. Hagia Sophia

Group 3. Hagia Sophia

Group 4. Hagia Sophia Becomes a Mosque – What You Need to Know

Group 5. Byzantium in Dialogue with the Mediterranean: History and Heritage

Stray cat enjoying a moment of fame inside the Hagia Sophia. Photo by Cari.

Using the search tool of your choice, locate 1 scholarly peer reviewed article and 1 scholarly book that could be used in an essay about the hummingbird geoglyph in Peru (see below). You are interested in learning more about what it may have meant to the people who created it.

Cari will be asking for volunteers to share their strategies for finding resources with the larger group.

1. What tool(s) did you use to find your article or book? (e.g. LibrarySearch, Google Scholar, etc)

2. What search words were effective?

Aerial photograph of geoglyph outline of a hummingbird

Photo by Diego Delso, CC-BY-SA 4.0



Key questions when evaluating sources

When assessing the quality of a source, here are some questions to consider:


Finding Academic Sources for your Short and Final Essays

For both your Short Essay and Final Essay, you are required to find a certain number of academic sources.

What would be considered an "academic source" by your professor for these assignments?

  1. A scholarly (peer reviewed) journal article 
  2. A scholarly book



Tips for Using Library Search

  • Use quotation marks around your search terms to search for an exact phrase (such as the title of a painting)
    • Ex: "School of Athens"
  • Use synonyms and related terms
  • Try adding additional search terms or more specific terms to narrow your search
  • Use an asterisk (*) after the root of a search term to include multiple endings
    • Ex: Searching Modernis* will find Modernist, Modernism, Modernists
  • Type NOT before a search term to exclude it from the results

Google Scholar Search

Yes, Google does article searches! Go in through this link and find out what Google Scholar has that you can get full-text through our library.

Google Scholar Search

Art History Article Databases

You can search our article databases (collections of journal, newspaper and magazine articles). If the article is not in the database, click on the "Look for a Copy" link.

Citation guides and resources

MRU has prepared handy citation guides that summarize how to create notes and bibliographies for the styles like Chicago and MLA. Near the end of each guide are examples of how to cite different types of resources, which can give you a useful template. 


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Cari Merkley

Phone: 403.440.5068
Office: EL4423U

Associate Professor & Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

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Peter Houston

Phone: 403.440.5197