1) Generate search terms for your topic in both Spanish and English.
2) Remember to think about using synonyms/related terms. For instance, if you are working on something related to language in education other words that could be used for education might be school, classroom, teaching, learning, etc..
3) Start by searching for articles in Spanish using your Spanish search terms. You will likely get far fewer results as our databases have a strong English language focus for scholarship. Look in the left hand column of the database for a Language menu where you can select Spanish.
4) Now switch it over to looking for articles in English. Make sure you undo the limit for Spanish! You will likely find a lot more materials and may need to make your search more specific at this point to narrow things down.
5) While searching try a trick called truncation. Truncation means cutting a word down to the stem and then adding an * (asterisk) to the end. It tells databases to search for all forms of the word. So typing in bilingual* will search not only for bililngual, but also bilingualism. If you cut it down all the way to biling*, you will also be including the Spanish word bilingue.
6) Try cross searching several databases at once! Many of the databases below come from the same vendor-- EBSCOhost. After you log into one, look for a link that says Choose Databases right above the search boxes. You can use that to add other databases from the list that apply and search them all at once!
7) If you run into an article we don't have, use our ILLIad interlibrary loan system to request it! It is a free service for students and only takes 1-2 days to get most articles.
Databases from other disciplines that might have articles related to language and language usage.
Plan on several rounds of research As your thesis evolves, you will find that you need more sources to support your arguments. Most big research projects include at least 3 rounds of research:
Check the footnotes/bibliography of every book, article, or website you find that is even vaguely on your topic. This is a big part of how professors do research and can save you a ton of time. See Finding Articles from a Bibliography and Finding Books from a Bibliography for a reminder of how to find the full text.
Interlibrary Loan is essential. If you complete your LIN 411 project without getting anything from outside this library, you probably haven't done great research. If we don't own an article that looks good to you, request it!
Search in multiple databases. This is especially essential for the topic of this class. Bilingualism is a topic of interest to many disciplines and the best databases will vary by topic.
Always read the abstract. It can be hard to tell what an article is really about based on just the title. If it looks like it is anywhere close to your topic, it is worth taking that extra minute to read the abstract.
Search using both Spanish and English search terms. Do Spanish first, because you will likely get fewer results (because of the focus of our databases on scholarship in English). Then repeat in English.
Keep organized. You are going to have a lot of sources. Set up a system for keeping track of them that works for you. Some of our databases have folder systems for saving sources. We also have a university subscription to Endnote or you could use a free option like Zotero or Mendeley.
Love Google Scholar? You need to set it up to talk to WCU Libraries (find Library Links under the Settings option). That will allow you to access articles for which .
Ask for help! If you feel stuck in your research, set up an appointment with me.
When searching the library's databases, you may find articles you want that we do not have access to. You can get them for free through a service called interlibrary loan, and it usually only takes one or two days.
1. Instead of a link to a PDF below the article, you will see a link called check availability.
2. If we have the full text,the page that opens will provide a link under the "View It" heading.
3. If we don't own the full text, you can access our interlibrary loan system for articles, called ILLiad, by logging into the system using your WCU email address and password. Look for the link on the yellow bar in the middle of the page.
4. Once you log in, you will see the link to go to ILLiad.
5. If it is your first time logging into the system, it may ask you some questions about your delivery preferences.
6. The system will try to fill in the required blanks with the relevant information about the article. Double check to make sure that all the required blanks are filled. If not, go back to the tab with the article info to cut and paste the other required info.
Did you know that you can get posters printed at the library? The IMC on the lower level of Green Library has a high quality poster printer and low fees for printing. See their page on poster printing for details, as well as lots of great tips on what to do (or not do) on your poster!