Researching in the Humanities
Research in the humanities generally involves interpretation of a text or a work of art within a historical and cultural context, frequently bringing to bear a particular type of analysis and often relying on establishing connections, attributing significance, and exploring contradictions or ambiguities. Scholars in the humanities typically use library resources in at least three ways:
Research in the humanities is often interdisciplinary, crossing boundaries between literature and history, philosophy and art, or music and religion. It also resists categorization and uses terminology that is less solid and agreed upon than in other fields. Researchers in the humanities are more likely to draw research material from texts and artifacts than from original data gathering and experimentation. Because of this they must be prepared to be:
Fortunately, there are many fine research tools to help. Those listed here are not available in every library, but they will give you some ideas to start with. Always bear in mind, too, that librarians are a particularly user-friendly research tool. Plan to ask a librarian for recommended resources as you begin your research, and use the librarian's expertise as your research progresses and your questions grow more specific.
Use the menu at top right to choose between information on Finding Sources or Documenting Sources within this discipline.
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