Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
How to begin
To begin, you'll need to get an overview of your topic. A general or specialized reference source (an Encyclopedia, Almanac, or Atlas etc.) can be a great place to start. Many of these reference sources can be found in our online databases such as Gale.
Consider your search terms carefully. Make a list of them. Make sure you have thought of broader and more narrow terms. Also remember to think about synonyms for your search words. Different search words will get different results! For example, try searching "deities" if "gods and goddesses" doesn't work. Or, try "religious ritual" in addition to "worship rituals." The more search word possibilities you have the better are your chances of success.
Once you have a general idea of what's at stake in your topic (context, major players, historical significance etc.), you'll be ready to look at it in a little more depth. Books (in print or digital) and journal articles will give you depth and breadth.
Remember to use credible sources by authenticating them based on the R.O.A.D. criteria:
- R Relevancy and Reliability
- O Objectivity
- A Authority
- D Date
Remember to cite all your sources correctly using MLA advanced in NoodleTools. Even pictures and statistics must be cited.
Remember to use your information ethically -- use direct quotes, paraphrase, or summarize but ALWAYS cite!