This page provides basic information about navigating the UIUC Library's resources, including citing sources, interlibrary loan, where to find certain sources, and more.
Guide to Critical Thinking - Use this checklist to evaluate a potential information source and determine its suitability for your information needs.
Test Yourself - This is a quiz created for graduate students in European Union studies, but the concepts remain the same so give it a try.
Sometimes we have problems meaning what we say and saying what we mean. If you would like to have someone work with you, contact the Writers Workshop. From their website: "The Writers Workshop, part of the Center for Writing Studies, is the writing center at Illinois. We provide free writing assistance for University of Illinois students, faculty, and staff from all disciplines and at all stages of the writing process. Discuss your writing with consultants who are experienced writers and teachers of writing. Call (217) 333-8796 (or drop-in) to set up a 50-minute session at one of the four Workshop locations. Please see our appointment and policies pages for more information.
This link goes to the list of online journals and databases available through the Library. If you see this image associated with any of the articles you are interested in, click on it to see if the full text of the work is available through our collections. You can also search for specific journal and database titles using Finding Online Journals and Databases. If you have the citation to an article of interest, go to Journal and Article Locator and enter the requested information. If neither of these work, go to the online catalog to see if the title is available in print in the Library. If you still cannot find the article you are interested in, go to Iliad, our interlibrary loan service and place a request. You will receive an email when the article arrives and usually you will be able to link directly to it.
The UIUC Library also provides a listing of databases by subject.
What are primary sources?
If you are seeking to learn about the past, primary sources of information are those that provide first-hand accounts of the events, practices, or conditions you are researching. In general, these are documents that were created by the witnesses or first recorders of these events at about the time they occurred, and include diaries, letters, reports, photographs, creative works, financial records, memos, and newspaper articles (to name just a few types).
What is a scholarly resource?
Scholarly sources (also referred to as academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed) are written by experts in a particular field and serve to keep others interested in that field up to date on the most recent research, findings, and news. These resources will provide the most substantial information for your research and papers. When a source has been peer-reviewed it has undergone the review and scrutiny of a review board of colleagues in the author's field. They evaluate this source as part of the body of research for a particular discipline and make recommendations regarding its publication in a journal, revisions prior to publication, or, in some cases, reject its publication.