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USSY291I Spring 2015: Home

Research guide to accompany USSY 291 I: The Illness Narrative

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Finding Sources


For your research paper, you'll need to find different kinds of sources, among which may be:

  • Reviews of the work you'll discuss
  • Scholarly articles about the topic illness
  • Review of the current scientific "what we know" about the illness

This guide will provide links to help you find these types of sources.


Often, the work that you are writing about may have been reviewed. Sometimes this could be in a popular publication like the New York Times Book Review, or, for books like you are working with, they might be reviewed in professional journals such as The Lancet. There are many ways to find reviews, here are two that are usually the most effective:

  1. Use the database Academic Search Complete. Search for the title of the book or the name of the author. If you get too many hits, note that you can limit to article type/book review.
  2. You can also use the Summon search function on the library's web site. This will bring more (often MANY more) search results from many different kinds of sources.


Note that Academic Search Complete will also help you find scholarly articles on a topic. You can search, for example, for Alzheimer's Disease to find articles on that topic. Refine your search by adding terms, or by other facets such as publication type or date range.


Reviews of "what we know"

This can be a harder source of information to find. You've specifically been told not to cite a resource like Wikipedia or WebMD. That doesn't mean you can't consult them- and potentially use the bibliographies from those sources. Another way is to use academic tertiary sources- scholarly reference sources- many of which can be found online. You can use a source like AccessMedicine available through the Health Sciences Library web page to find definitive, scholarly summaries of illnesses.

William Claspy: Humanities Librarian

William Claspy's picture
William Claspy
Kelvin Smith Library, 201-E
11055 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106