Pose your topic as a question
Find articles that summarize the topic, explain key concepts, define terminology and much more
Find items held at Cornell (books, journals, and everything else we own)
Find articles, essays, book chapters and monographs
Some tips on how to evaluate the sources you've found
Guides and Resources for preparing your bibliography
Ask a Librarian!
subject terms= fewer hits & better
keywords= more hits & sometimes worse
A keyword means find the word anywhere in the record -- title, author, notes, description, publisher, etc. (NOT the full text of the book or article)
A subject term is human-made and is designed to help you to other materials of similar topics
Free content on the internet is only the tip of an iceberg. A vast amount of content resides behind paywalls, and library subscriptions help to provide access to this content.
The best research uses everything, all the tools, and the best tool for the task.
But not all tools are equal. Google and Wikipedia have their uses, but when it comes to scholarly research, rely on restricted tools/resources which are superior, have more content, and are free to Cornellians.
There is no one place that you can find everything. Where you look depends on the stage of your research and other factors.
First, select a topic. This may become more focused as you do research. Then get background information from general websites, Wikipedia, and subject encyclopedias. Next, start to narrow your research focus by looking at books, chapters in edited books, and articles from magazines, newspapers, and journals. Finally, get more specific by looking at scholarly research articles and conference proceedings, and using databases and Google Scholar.
General Websites can be helpful for argumentative papers and for statistics (especially .gov and .org sites). Check statistics against two other sources.