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GEO 3200-600: Human Impacts on the Environment (Dr. Smith)

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GEO 3200-600 Research Guide
This guide will help you with finding sources for your research paper in GEO 3200-600 Human Impacts on the Environment (online) with Dr. Smith.

Your assignment requires you to have, at a minimum, 5 references including at least 3 scholarly journal articles and 2 newspaper articles. You may also use books, magazines, and Internet sources.

This guide will direct you to resources for scholarly articles and newspaper articles. For background information about your research topic, use the library catalog and Gale Virtual Reference Library to find books and encyclopedia articles, respectively (ask a librarian for assistance).
Getting started

KEYwords: selecting search terms

Before you begin searching newspaper or journal article databases, choose your terms carefully and think about additional ways to express the concepts you are looking for.


For example, if your research topic is famine in Africa, you might narrow that down to a specific famine in a specific country, then ask a research question:
How does drought affect food supply in Somalia? 


From this question identify the key terms: drought food Somalia


You can lose the words how, does, affect, supply, in. They are too common and they do not have meaning for search purposes.


What are some alternative search terms that are synonymous with or related to the terms you selected? In this case you could also search for:
famine, starvation, malnutrition, agriculture, "East Africa," weather, desertification, climate change.

Use quotes around words that you want to stay together.


Mix, match, and combine your terms and learn from the search results of each attempt you make.

Find scholarly articles
Scholarly articles provide in-depth research and are written by experts in the given field of study. They also tend to be peer-reviewed (so other experts in the field have critically analyzed the work for accuracy).

Use the following two databases to locate scholarly articles.

Academic Search Complete


You're asked to include one map and one table or graph in your paper. See below for screen shot guidance in setting this search limit. From the initial Advanced Search page, scroll down on the page to find the Image Quick View Types. The maps, tables, and graphs are image files that can be pasted into your papers, just make sure you cite them.

Academic Search Complete is a multidisciplinary database that offers some coverage of the geographic and environmental science literature.

Use the Cite feature of the database to help properly format your references. Always check database citations and correct for accuracy.



Type in your search terms, separating them with AND. For example, search on: drought AND "East Africa" -- using quotation marks around "East Africa" ensures only results refering to this region of Africa are included.

Using keywords to search in the JSTOR database.

Like Academic Search Complete, JSTOR is a multidisciplinary database. JSTOR is short for Journal Storage. This database contains deep backfiles of scholarly literature that has been retroactively digitized for easy access. Locate articles published all the way back in the 1800s through the present. Recently published articles may be embargoed (full-text access withheld for the most current 6 months to 5 years, or occasionally longer).

JSTOR has a Cite feature, but note that the Chicago style is not in Author-Date format. You can modify it to the appropriate format. For examples: The Chicago Manual of Style Online: Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide.

Find newspaper articles
Newspaper articles report on current events and are written by journalists assigned to the story.

Use Global Newsstream to locate newspaper articles.

On your results page, note the options to refine your results. You may be interested in the most current news on your topic, in which case you can change to sort by Most Recent First.

For this assignment, you want to limit results to Newspapers.

All results in this database link to full text news articles. For help in printing and citing your news article, note these options in the top-right of the page, once you have clicked on a title from your results list.

For this assignment, you need to use the Chicago Author-Date citation style. Choose the most current version of the Chicago style available. **Make sure to click Change in order for the changes to take effect.**

Citation style requirements

Cite your work!

Follow Chicago style, author-date format for this assignment.

If you use the JSTOR database to find scholarly articles, note that the Chicago style template of JSTOR's "Cite this item" feature does not follow author-date format. You can modify it to the appropriate format.

For examples: The Chicago Manual of Style Online: Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide, Author-Date Style.
Subject Specialist
Picture: Kirstin Duffin

Kirstin Duffin
Science Librarian
Office: 217 581-7550

Reference Desk: 217-581-6072
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Get help!

You can always find us:

The Reference desk is on north end of the the main level of Booth Library