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HUMA 2751: Aspects of Italian Culture  

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HUMA2751 -- Aspects of Italian Culture | York University Libraries

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The following indexes and databases will help you to locate scholarly journal articles for HUMA2751/IT2751:

    Offers a comprehensive archive of scholarly journal literature, with emphasis on the arts and humanities. An excellent place to start search for articles.
  • Scholars Portal (choose Arts & Humanities as the Subject Area)
    This multidisciplinary database searches several indexes at once, including British Humanities Index, Bibliography of the History of Art, Francis, Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages & Renaissance, MLA International Bibliography, and Philosopher's Index.
  • Humanities Index
    Indexes more than 500 journals in the humanities. Topics include archaeology, fine art, classics, communications, dance, film, gender studies, history, journalism, linguistics, literary criticism, music, the performing arts, philosophy, and religion.
  • Historical Abstracts
    Covers world history, excluding North America, from 1450 to the present era. It indexes journals from around the world and also includes books and dissertations. Topics covered range from the Renaissance onwards.

Keyword Searching

Before you begin searching for books and articles on your topic, it is helpful to know how to compose an effective keyword search. Keyword searching is a flexible method that can be used in both our Library Catalogue and our many indexes and databases. Follow these 5 steps to create your keyword search:

   1. QUESTION: Write down your research topic or question.

example:What is the effect of violence in the media on CONCEPTS: Note the main concepts. Avoid using abstract concepts such as "effects,"       "impact," or "themes" in your searches. 

example: What is the effect of violence in the media on children?

3. SYNONYMS: Think of synonyms for each of your concepts

example: television, video games, films, or movies, could be synonyms for the concept of media

4. SYNTAX: Prepare your searches, using AND to link different concepts together and OR to link synonyms. Always use capital letters for AND and OR . Use brackets ( ) to keep OR terms together.

example 1: violence AND media AND children 

example 2: violence AND ( media OR television ) AND ( children OR child OR youth )

5. SEARCH & RE-SEARCH: Run the search and examine your results carefully. Look for terms marked as subjects, descriptors, or topics that could be used in a modified search.

Finding Books

Follow these steps to find books, encyclopedias, and other materials in the Library Catalogue.

  • Follow the Keyword Searching steps (above) to build your search. Type your search terms in the box found on the Library Homepage.

  • You can sort your search results by either Date or Relevance. Using Relevance often brings useful items to the top of the list. If you find an item that looks useful, click on its title to view the complete record.

  • The complete record for each item will identify its Location, Availability, and Call Number. The complete record will also list the Subject Headings for the item. These can provide you with other useful search terms for the same topic. 

Finding Articles

There are hundreds of specialized Indexes and Databases to help you find Articles. These are usually categorized by subject or discipline and you can access them from our Subject Research Guides.


Some of these indexes and databases look different, but they all share the following attributes:

  • each index focuses on a core group of journals/magazines ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand
  • each index allows you to search by keywords; use the Advanced Search mode for best results
  • each index will provide a complete reference (citation) to the article identifying the author, article title, journal/magazine name, volume, issue, year, and page numbers
  • each citation will have either a direct link to the full text of the article OR a button that will help you to find the article at York. The button looks like this: . When you click this button, you will be taken to a page that looks like the image below. If the library subscribes to the journal in electronic format, you will see links that allow you to "Get Full Text Online." If there are no links to the online version, click on the "for print copies" link to see if the library has a print copy of the journal on the shelves. Be sure to note the call number.

Finding sources on the Internet

Finding sources for your paper on the Net is certainly possible, but is fraught with difficulties. Take a look at our Web Research Tutorial; it helps you to learn more about how to use publicly-accessible web sites for research, from understanding what kind of information is freely available on the web to what kinds of search tools and techniques will help you get useful results, and how to critically evaluate and properly document what you find.

Scholarly vs. Popular publications

When conducting your research, you will encounter both scholarly sources (e.g. academic journals, research reports) and popular sources (e.g. magazines, newspapers). The following table provides clues on how to distinguish between these two types of sources.

Scholarly or
academic Journals

Popular Publications
(e.g. magazines, newspapers, etc..)

  • Written by scholars or researchers
  • Intended audiences are professors, students, and researchers
  • Lengthy articles with in-depth coverage of topics
  • May have a "serious" look -- very few photos or ads
  • Always include a bibliography (works cited)
  • May use discipline-specific language or jargon
  • Often written by journalists or staff writers
  • Shorter articles: usually provide broad overview of topics
  • Usually include photos and advertisements
  • Bibliography not usually provided
  • Uses everyday language that is accessible to the average reader

Citing Sources

When writing any university essay, you must indicate where you obtained your ideas and information. You do this by citing your sources. For details on how to cite sources using MLA and other formats, refer to our Footnotes & Bibliographies page.

You may also wish to learn to use Refworks -- a web-based bibliographic management tool (citation manager) that allows you to create a database of citations or references to resources (books, journal articles, web sites, etc.). It facilitates the insertion of citations within a research paper as in-text references, footnotes, or endnotes, and the creation of a formatted bibliography using a citation style of choice. All major citation styles are supported (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.). We offer drop-in workshops on how to use this tool.

Using proper citation methods is essential in academic work. If you are unsure of how to do this or have questions about academic plagiarism, see Academic Integrity and Plagiarism.

Getting Help

This course guide has been designed to help you get started with your research. Should you require further assistance, don't hesitate to get help:

  • In-Person at the Research Questions Desk (2nd floor of Scott Library)
  • Online using our AskON live chat reference service
  • By Telephone: 416-736-5150, option 3
  • By E-mail

There are also many helpful Tutorials & Guides available on the library website.


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