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RELS 3000/ANTH 3020: Religion and Healing

This guide is for Dr. Letha Victor's course, Religion and Healing.

Research Databases

Interdisciplinary Databases

Religious Studies


Reading a Research Article

Scholarly articles are a source type that many academic disciplines use to share recent research and scholarship. Some characteristics of scholarly articles are:

  • The author is a scholar or researcher in the field they write about
  • The article has gone through a peer review process
  • Sources used have been cited and are included in either footnotes or a bibliography
  • Articles are published in academic journals, usually requiring library databases to access

Reading a Research Article - Use this presentation to learn more about scholarly articles and how you can easily break them down to pull out important information.

Developing Keywords

This video shows you how to develop keywords to find sources about your research topic.

Using Keywords

What are Keywords?

Keywords are words or short phrases that represent the main concepts in your research topic or question.

Research databases use keywords to find relevant information, not full sentences, spelling mistakes, or conversational language. This is why it is important to have a good selection of keywords before you begin searching.

Brainstorming Keywords

To think of some keywords, identify the main concepts of your research question or topic. Then, think of synonyms or like-terms for these concepts. Keep a list of all these keyword options. Some may pull more relevant information than others.

Keyword Generator Tool - this tool from the University of Texas helps you pull out key concepts of your research question.

Keep an eye out for how your topic is discussed by authors and what subject-specific language they are using. You can always add these terms to your list of keywords!

Scholarly Vs. Popular Sources

Is this Article Right for Me?

Finding scholarly articles is one thing, figuring out if they are right for your research project is another. What should you look for if you are trying to determine if you might use a scholarly article for you research?

Title: This will give you the first indication of how the article relates to your topic.

Author(s): Who are the authors? What qualifications do they have on this topic? Have they written about this topic elsewhere?

Source: What journal is this coming from? Does the journal have a peer review process?

Abstract: This is a great snapshot of the entire article. What questions or problems does this research address? Where does this research fit within the existing scholarly conversation? How does this research relate to your topic?