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WP 115 Food for Thought: Spring 2018

Frequent practice in expository writing to foster clarity of organization and expression in the development of ideas.

Scholarly Articles

Look for scholarly journals when doing research. They are usually published by universities or professional associations.

Articles in scholarly journals...

  • focus on original research and analysis in a specific discipline
  • include citations
  • are often peer-reviewed by fellow scholars
  • can most often be found in library databases or Google Scholar

Many databases allow you to check a box to narrow your results to only articles from these publications.

Good Research Takes Time

Keep a research log & document every search.

Explore a variety of search terms.

Check multiple resources.

Carefully evaluate all materials.

Photo: Clock Roskilde University by nikolainewyork

Food for Thought Library Course Guide

Image: Penne Pasta with Kale & Sun-Dried Tomatoes by Jennifer

Searching Tips

Keyword searches only find matching words (with the exact spelling used), not necessarily items about those words.

  • Use an asterisk to stand in for different word endings:  critic* = criticism, critic, critics, critical)
  • Use quotation marks to "glue together" a phrase: "food additives"
  • Use AND between terms to narrow results to items containing both terms: restaurant AND critic*
  • Using OR between items (within parentheses) widens results to items containing any one term:  (locavore* OR localvore* OR "local food movement")


To find items by authors, do an Author Search (last name, first name).

To find items about authors, do a Subject Search of the author's name (last name, first name).


Look at item records to find Subject Terms. These group material by together by topic which can yield more precise results.

Examples of food-related Library of Congress Subject Headings (used in CBBCat):

Find Open Web Sources: Google & Search Engines

Library databases are superior for finding scholarly articles, but information important for research can also be found on the open Web. Check with your professors about their expectations.

Search precisely - Add words and phrases that help to narrow your search.

Use Advanced Search - In Google, click on Settings in your search results page. The Site or Domain field can be useful in limiting your results to government information (.gov) or items created at educational institutions (.edu).

Explore Tools - In Google, you can change All Results to Verbatim results. This can help focus your results. Limiting by date can get you items with greater currency.

Evaluate Extremely Carefully! - Investigate every source by doing separate searches of source creators, authors and publications. Every source you interact with is a conversation. With whom are you talking? What are their values and motivations? Are they trustworthy? Are they getting their information from reliable sources and interpreting evidence fairly and  intelligently? Who is the intended audience?

Know the Limitations of Web Searching - Most scholarly articles are either not found by search engines or are behind paywalls. Information is sorted and ranked according to commercial/consumer/popular considerations. Information is not vetted for accuracy or reliability.


OneSearch searches multiple library resources at once. Use only for very precise searches:

  • Finding a specific article from a citation
  • Finding information on lesser-known authors
  • Finding book chapters
  • Finding book reviews

For best results, use limiters. 

Find Books (Library Catalog)

SEARCH our library catalog - the Entire CBB Collection or just Colby.

To order items from Colby Storage, Bates or Bowdoin: Click on

Other Catalogs:

Materials not available at Colby or our partner institutions can often be obtained through ILLiad, our interlibrary loan service.

Course Librarian

Laine Thielstrom's picture
Laine Thielstrom
Phone: (207) 859-5140
Office: Miller 107A

I'm available for individual or group research consultations. Just email me your best dates/times.

Or drop by during my office hours.
Spring 2018 Office Hours:
Tuesdays: 1-2:30pm
Wednesdays: 1-2:30pm

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