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PHIL 450: Senior Directed Study


9/8/2023 11:30AM


  • Share your questions via post-it notes 11:30-11:35
  • Research tips 11:37-11:42
  • Synonym scribble 11:42-11:45
  • Finding sources for your topic 11:45-12:10
    • how to find books
    • SEP
    • Philosopher's Index
    • JSTOR
  • MLA 12:10-12:19

Research Tips

Macro Research Tips:

"Iterate" - "perform or utter repeatedly." Modify and repeat searches until you find what you want. Determine optimal search settings.

"Terminology" - Determine if there is specialized terminology or vocabulary for your topic. What's the "insider language"? Consider potential variations on the terms you use to search; think about synonyms.

"Like begets like" OR "One good source leads to another"- "Mine" citations: a work on your topic may cite other works on your topic.


Micro Research Tips a.k.a search mechanics: 

Group search strings with quotation marks. It's possible to use multiple groups. 

  •  "Two words" "Three word concept" "FirstName LastName"

Use filters and linkages to narrow or focus results

  • Date ranges, indexed subjects

Search inside an electronic source

  • Use "Control+F" or "Command+F" or a "search within source" function

Synonym scribble

What are some synonyms for your topic or terms in your topic?

Is there insider language or terminology for your topic that one would need to know to find resources on the topic?

Does your topic fall within a specific subdiscipline of philosophy? If so, which?

Take a moment to write down synonyms, insider language, or alternate terminology.

Getting started

Books of possible interest