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Women's and Gender Studies 220 / Nursing 220: Women's Health

Supports the research needs of students currently enrolled in Women and Literature: Women's Studies 220 (Fall 2020).


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Meredith Kahn
Librarian for Gender & Sexuality Studies

Women's Health Research Assignment

While enrolled in this course you will complete a research assignment on a women's health topic using scholarly sources.

This guide contains information about how to find appropriate sources and how to cite those sources.

If you need help finding resources for your assignment, please use Ask a Librarian or make an appointment with your librarian.

How can you tell if an article is scholarly?

There are several things you can look for to determine if the article you've found is scholarly:

  • Author: Is this author an expert on this topic? Do they have credentials (like a degree or a particular job) that lend authority to their views?
  • Source: What kind of publication is this? Is it an academic journal, a newspaper, or a website meant for the general public?
  • Evidence: Does the author include citations, statistics, facts, analysis, or other evidence to support their arguments? Can you trace that evidence back to its source?
  • Writing style: Does the author use specialized vocabulary? Does the article have sections like "literature review," "methodology," or "results"?

Many scholarly articles go through a process called "peer review" before they are published. When an author submits a draft of their work to a journal, the journal's editor sends it to reviewers. These reviewers will be experts in the same field as the author. The reviewers read the draft, evaluate its scholarly rigor, make comments on how the work can be improved, and make a recommendation to the editor about whether the article should be published. The editor will then ask the author to make revisions and to re-submit the article. Only after this process is complete will the article be published.

Most of the time, you can't tell if an article has been peer reviewed just by looking at it. In order to determine if the article was peer reviewed, use your favorite search engine to find the journal's homepage. Then look for a peer review policy on their website.

Need a definition of a medical term?

In the course of writing your paper for this class, you'll come across medical terminology you probably don't understand. If you need a definition of a medical condition, procedure, test, or other term, consult one of these sources:

Find Books (and other research materials)

Want to find books, documentaries, government information, and other research on your topic? Use Catalog Search to find both physical and digital items owned by the U-M Library. You can see an example search below.

Image of the U-M Library catalog search box displaying the terms "cervical," "cancer," and "disparity."

Find Articles

Looking for articles? Try Articles Search to find scholarly articles on any topic. You can see an example search below. Notice that this search is narrower than the search for books. Because articles tend to be written on more specific topics, you'll need to think carefully about how to narrow down your topic and translate it into keywords for searching.

Image of the U-M Library's articles search interface, with the words "cervical cancer," "disparity," and "race" in the search boxes.