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BC ENGL 1211: Legacy of the Mediterranean

About This Guide


In this guide, you'll find resources to help you with your research for First Year Writing: Women and Culture.

  • Resources to research background and contextual information on your topic and the approaches you might be bringing to your research (see links below)
  • Places to find books in print and online
  • Databases for locating articles, including scholarly and peer-reviewed articles
  • Resources for citing your sources and writing
  • Guidelines for getting required course texts for free via the Library

Please feel free to book an appointment with me on my calendar page, for further support with your research.



Image: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. "Nella Larsen, author." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 192.




Choosing a Topic

It may feel really overwhelming to choose a research topic. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose a text and/or concept or problem that interests you. This can be your starting place---be prepared for this to change a bit as you develop your research!
  • Write down keywords and key phrases that relate to your topic. Think of alternative terms. If you want to visualize them spatially, start a concept map, or mind map. 
  • Research backgrounds and contexts, if you would like (see below for some reference sources that can help with this). 
  • Use the words and phrases on your concept map in your searches across catalogs and databases. Try out different combinations!
  • As you begin to review the sources you have found, think about how you might want to develop the shape of your topic---by maknig it more specific, or broadening it, or approaching it differently than you did when you started. 


Reference Sources

In addition to the sources suggested below, you may search for reference sources available through the Columbia libraries, using CLIO. For reference works like dictionaries, thesauri, and bibliographies, try a Catalog Search with keywords (i.e. encyclopedia AND "Harlem Renaissance") and limit to the desired format. You can also use the Subject (Genre) box on the left side of the results page to narrow down results to a specific genre of source.

If you are interested in looking up a term, name, concept, or other keyword or phrase, try a CLIO Articles Search with the term(s) you have in mind, and once the results page appears, find the Content Type box on the left side of the screen and limit to "Reference."