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Library Research Guides

Earth 315: Mineralogy

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?