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Search Tips for Finding Scholarly Sources for this Assignment

  • If you don't find articles or books that speak specifically to the religious aspects of your particular pop culture artifact, look for discussions of how religion, gender, and sexuality have played out in that particular medium or platform e.g. Instagram, Tiktok, comics, video games, social media, etc. You may be able to apply that research to your analysis.
  • Use the asterisk * to search for multiple endings of a word e.g. religio* finds religion, religions, religious, religiosity
  • Use quotation marks to search for a particular phrase or title e.g. "ms. marvel" 
  • If you are not finding what you need, brainstorm possible synonyms, related terms, or alternative spellings for your search words. You can incorporate these additional words into your search with OR between them. The advanced search option in LibrarySearch and other search terms makes this easier. You also can typically specify in the advance search screen where you would like the search word to appear (e.g. title)

Finding Scholarly/Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Characteristics of a Peer Reviewed Scholarly Article

  • Author or authors are experts in their field. It will list the institution/research institute that they are affiliated with e.g. Mount Royal University
  • Article appears in a publication that employs peer review to ensure the quality of the articles it publishes. This is usually indicated on the journal homepage or you can refer to Ulrich's Directory where journals with peer review are indicated with a striped referee shirt next to the title 
  • The title will be very specific, clearly identifying the research question the article is exploring
  • The intended audience is other experts in the field, so the language used may include lots of jargon or advanced terminology. Give yourself extra time to read the article for this reason.
  • The article itself will be long (typically more than 3 pages)
  • Outside sources of information are clearly cited throughout (you should expect to see a lot of footnotes/endnotes/entries on a bibliography)

Examples of Peer Reviewed Scholarly Articles

LibrarySearch refers to the search box on the Library homepage

Tips for Using LibrarySearch to Find Religious Studies Scholarly Articles

  • Once you have run your search, use the limits on the left hand side to limit to Peer Reviewed and Resource Type - Articles.
    • Note: The peer reviewed limit doesn't work perfectly - you have to look at the full text of the article to confirm it is a scholarly research article. Refer to the characteristics listed in an earlier tab.
  • Select "Expand your results beyond MRU Library" to make sure you are seeing the broadest range of research on your topic. If we don't have a copy of the article you are interested in, you can request it for free using our interlibrary loan service.

Image of filters in LibrarySearch. Peer reviewed and resource type - articles limits have been selected. Setting has been changed to show results beyond MRU Library

Google Scholar is another tool that can be used to find peer reviewed scholarly articles. Please note that there isn't a review process as to what gets added to Google Scholar, so make sure you critically evaluate the sources you find.

If you are using Google Scholar at home, it is important to change the settings to see links to the full text of articles through MRU Library

In Settings, select Library Links. Search for MRU Library. Check the box "Full-text@MRU Library" and click save.

You will now see links for Full-Text@MRU Library next to your search results

Screenshot of Google Scholar showing the link to full text next to the article

Finding Scholarly Books and Book Chapters

Characteristics of a Scholarly Book

  • The author or authors are experts in their field. Their institutional affiliation might be noted in the book's introduction or an "about the authors" section. If you don't see this information, you can typically confirm their background by searching for their name. Most university researchers will be featured on university's website. 
  • Scholarly books do typically go through a review process that involves obtaining feedback from an expert or multiple experts in the field
  • The book is published by an academic press (e.g. Oxford University Press, University of Toronto Press) or a publisher that specializes in academic books (e.g. Routledge) 
  • The intended audience is other experts in the field, so the language used may include lots of jargon or advanced terminology.
  • Sources are clearly cited throughout the book (you should expect to see a lot of footnotes/endnotes/entries on a bibliography).

Examples of Scholarly Books or Chapters in Edited Scholarly Books

Tips for Finding Books using LibrarySearch

  • There isn't a limit for scholarly books (the peer reviewed limit only works with journal articles), so you will need to take a look at the book itself to make sure it is a scholarly discussion of the topic
  • You can limit to books and book chapters under Resource Type
  • Books are tagged with subject labels, so if you find one useful book, you can use the subject to link to similar booksScreen shot of the details of the book Religion and Film. It has the subjects motion pictures - religious aspects and religion in motion pictures

Citing your Sources

Dr. Gasson-Gardner has indicated that you may use either Chicago or MLA style for this assignment.

Chicago Style Resources

MLA Style Resources

Looking for Tips on Creating a Scholarly Poster?

Looking for a Film?

Films @ MRU Library

Use LibrarySearch to check to see if we have streaming or DVD access to a particular film or program. Limit to films by using Resource Type - Videos. Example of a search for the film Dead Man Walking

If we only have the film on DVD and you do not have a player at home, you can borrow a DVD drive to use with your laptop at the Library Service Desk.

You can also browse our feature film databases Criterion on Demand and ACF Streaming.

Films @ Public Library

Most public libraries in Alberta have access to the Kanopy streaming video collection, which you can access remotely with your public library card. The Kanopy collection includes a number of feature films from various countries. If you don't already have a public library card, you can typically sign up for one online (e.g. Calgary Public Library). 


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