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Library Research Guides

Earth 315: Mineralogy: Starting Research

Information sources

Depending on your research question, you will want to consult books, scholarly articles, and other media (such as conference proceedings, artifacts, reports, etc).

Ask yourself: 

Do you need background information?

Are you aware of authors for your topic?

Should you limit your results to time periods?

Should you limit your results to a particular region?

Do you want to limit your sources?

What databases should you use?

Developing a Literature Search

First think about your topic. Questions to consider:

  • What is your topic?
  • What interests you about the topic?
  • What type of media you would like to consider in relation to your topic?
  • What are some keywords related to your topic?
  • What are some synonyms for your keywords?
  • If I find too much literature on my topic, how will I narrow my search?
  • If I find too little literature on my topic, how will I broaden my search?


Search Query Development

Example topic: X-ray diffraction

Too broad?

Try X-ray diffraction and mineralogy

Still too broad?

Try x-ray diffraction and mineralogy and a mineral (ex: kaolinite)

Want to go narrower still?

Try x-ray diffractrion and mineralogy and kaolinite and a geographical region (ex: Turkey)

Example topic: Multiphase dolomitization

Too narrow?

Try dolomitization

Too broad?

What about dolomitization do you want to know?

Temperature requirements? Dolomite characteristics? Geochemical evolution? Natural Dolomites?

Library Contact

Lori Tschirhart
3164 Shapiro Science Library

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