The purpose of this guide is to assist Dr. Fredericks' PHIL 3500 students in finding appropriate resources to support a thesis in the final essay assignment. Topics in this guide include:
Before conducting a search in any index or catalog, it is often useful know the language that librarians, catalogers and indexers use to describe a topic. The most widely-used descriptors of topics in the English language are published as the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH).
For any subject, look up the word you know in the LCSH. The word you know might be just right, but if it isn't the LCSH provides guidance to find the best choice. UF means "Use For," or "your term is the preferred term." USE means "there is a different, preferred term." BT means "Broader Term," or "another term includes your term." NT means "Narrower Term," or "there are other, more specific terms within your term." Scan the entries to get ideas about how your term fits into the general scheme of knowledge about the subject. The variations in wording may help you broaden or narrow your searches later in the investigative process.
What makes something scholarly? There is no one strict definition. However, there is general agreement that a scholarly resource usually has certain characteristics:
The good news is that most resources that you find through UNT Libraries are scholarly. There may be occasional exceptions, but these should be obvious (for example, a daily newspaper, a magazine with clearly popular interest, or a work of fiction for the book trade).
Primary sources are works that are closest in time to the start of an idea or event. A primary source provides a direct insight into the topic based on the reporter's experience of it.
Examples include original historical documents, creative works, and artifacts. In the context of religion and philosophical studies, primary sources are usually works that first describe an experience, a concept or a way of thinking about an issue:
Most primary resources related to early Christianity are freely available online. See the On the Web tab in this guide for links to them.