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Fine Arts

Websites

These websites are quality resources for Fine Arts.  This list is not comprehensive. When choosing websites for academic research, be sure to read the section below titled "Evaluating Websites".

Evaluating Websites

The CRAP Test

All of the websites listed on this page are reliable sources of information.  However, this list is not exhaustive, and you may find websites not listed on this page that you want to use for your research.  Keep in mind that it can be difficult to determine the credibility and accuracy of the information on the web. When deciding whether or not to cite a website in your research paper, you will want to apply some of the same general rules that you would use when determining the credibility and appropriateness of any information source. On the right is an easy acronym to help you remember the main ways to assess an online source. 

You should also know how to quickly assess the location in which online articles are published. Taking note of the website address suffix: .org, .gov, .edu, .com, .net.

See a breakdown here: URL & What it can tell you 

 

How to Search the Databases

The academic databases listed on this page are excellent sources for magazine, news, and journal articles. Library databases are different from online search engines like Google, so you will need to master a few basic concepts in order to use them effectively. This guide will outline what you need to know to find the best sources:

Exclude irrelevant words

When using the databases, you should exclude all extraneous words from your searches. First, leave out all articles (a, and, the) in your search. Next, narrow your search terms down to two or three words that describe exactly what you hope to find For example, if you are writing a paper about the theme of discrimination in Frankenstein, narrowing your search terms down to discrimination and Frankenstein will likely retrieve a manageable list of more precise results.

Select and refine search terms

After you have selected your initial search terms, list any synonyms or related terms that might be relevant to your topic. For example, if your search terms are Frankenstein and discrimination, you might want to try synonyms such as "prejudice" or "intolerance" in place of discrimination. You may even replace discrimination with a related term, such as "inhumanity." Successful searches are often the result of trying out a variety of terms. Most databases will provide you with suggestions of additional or alternate search terms to use, which can lead you to better results in a shorter amount of time.

Combine or exclude terms

Two or more search terms may be combined in different ways to yield different results. The connectors AND, OR, NOT are useful search tools, and most databases have these built in to make searching easier. Use the connector AND to yield results that contain both search terms. Use OR for results that contain either term. Use NOT to exclude results that contain a specific term.

Try different databases

Different databases index different content, and selecting the right database is just as important to successful searching as choosing the right search terms. A search that retrieves few or no results in one database may work well in another. If you retrieve too few or irrelevant results in one database, try a different one.