If you are new to college level research, you may want to check out this tutorial (about 5 minutes) to get the basics. (It is for Biology 111, but the concepts are applicable across disciplines.)
What are journal articles? Journal articles contain much more specialized information than books and other monographs. Since the turnaround time for publication is shorter, the information is very current. Use W&L's Online Databases to find journal articles related to your topic.
Why look at journal articles? Before you begin any research project, you must become familiar with any other research that has been conducted previously. This is where the literature review comes in. Researchers perform a literature review to make sure there is a need for their original research, and to discover gaps in the research that they may want to fill. Researchers often include a literature review in their final publication to familiarize the reader with previous research.
GeoRefS Nearly 2 million records about geology and earth sciences. Contains earth science references and the index terms that describe them, scanned from more than 25,150 journals in 40 languages.
Scopus Described as the largest citation-and-abstract database in the world, Scopus features broad coverage of scientific, technical, medical, and social sciences literature, as covered in about 14,000 peer-reviewed resources, as well as academic Web sites from the Scirus database. Scopus also functions as a citation-indexing tool.
This is the most important part of the assignment, but many students neglect some very important details. If you are having trouble getting started, formatting your paper, or confused about language use, visit the Writing Center. The following is a list of online resources that will help you through the process.
If you have trouble using these resources, see Mary Abdoney in the Science Library for help.
Or, send an instant message from your Yahoo!, AIM or MSN account to WLULibRef.