Student Reading in Hammock

Philosophy Research Guide

  • Find Background Info
  • Find Books
  • Find Articles
  • Citing Sources

Find Background Info

Background sources, such as specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries, are an essential piece of the research process. They can help you:

  • Gather information about your topic and understand the scope of the research
  • Locate reliable sources and to clarify keywords
  • Pinpoint important authors, texts, ideas, and keywords about the research area. Knowing what the primary phrases and concepts are will help you a lot as you are searching library databases and online sources.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This free online encyclopedia is edited and maintained by experts in the field. Articles cover concepts, theories, and schools of thought in philosophy and related disciplines. Because each entry offers an overview of a topic and includes a comprehensive bibliography, the SEP is an excellent place to start your research.

Search Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Credo Reference

Credo Reference is a multi-publisher collection of high quality reference titles covering everything from the arts to astronomy, law to literature, and science to Shakespeare. The collection currently contains over 162 titles taken from 36 different reference publishers and more titles are being added. Available titles also include a range of multimedia options including thousands of high quality diagrams, photographs, maps, and audio files.

Search Credo Reference

Philosophy Titles in Credo

Find Books

Print and e-books are valuable sources for academic research. They will help you to gain an overview of your topic and often contain in-depth information about the scholarship or history of research on a subject. Some books are written by single authors while others include essays or chapters by multiple scholars within a discipline. Don’t let the length of books intimidate you because you don’t need to read them from cover to cover. Look at the table of contents and index to find the sections that are relevant to your work.

GriffinSearch

GriffinSearch is a good starting place if you are looking for books, journal articles, films, and other material available in the library. In addition to searching the Giovale Library catalog for physical materials, GriffinSearch finds e-book and articles from several of our databases.

Search GriffinSearch

WorldCat

WorldCat.org lets you search for books, articles, videos, and other material that are available in libraries worldwide. If you are doing in-depth research on a topic and are considering requesting resources through interlibrary loan, WorldCat can help you discover resources that might not be in the Giovale Library collection.

Search WorldCat

InterLibrary Loan (ILL)

InterLibrary Loan is a service where patrons of one library can borrow books and other materials and access journal articles that are owned by another library.

InterLibrary Loan

Utah Academic Library Consortium

Giovale Library participates in the Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC) and Westminster College students have reciprocal circulation privileges at UALC partner libraries. Each UALC library has different circulation policies, but all require a current, valid, legal photo identification and proof of current enrollment at Westminster. Some libraries may also require other verification methods, so it is recommended that you contact the member library you are interested in for details.

Utah Academic Library Consortium

Popular Titles and Featured Texts

Find Articles

The Giovale Library provides access to a number of subject databases that you can use to find journal articles on topics within a specific discipline or field of study. The databases listed on this page are those that are most useful for finding research published in the field of philosophy. However, since research in philosophy is often multidisciplinary, you may want to visit the library’s database page to find additional resources.

GriffinSearch

GriffinSearch is a good starting place if you are looking for books, journal articles, films, and other material available in the library. In addition to searching the Giovale Library catalog for physical materials, GriffinSearch finds e-books and articles from several of our databases.

Search GriffinSearch

Philosopher's Index

This database offers author-written abstracts covering scholarly research in all areas of philosophy. The literature covered goes back to 1940 and includes journal articles, books, book chapters such as contributions to an anthology, and book reviews.

Search Philosopher's Index

Philosophy and Religion Collection

This database contains information about journal articles on topics such as world religions, major denominations, biblical studies, epistemology, political philosophy, philosophy of language, moral philosophy, and the history of philosophy and religion.

Search Philosophy and Religion Collection

JSTOR

JSTOR is an archive of full text articles from journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. It includes retrospective coverage of publications as well as access to many current journals.

Search JSTOR

Citing Sources

Citing your sources helps you avoid plagiarism and shows that you’ve done research to become knowledgeable about your topic. Proper citations allow your readers to track down your sources and help them understand how your research is connected to the work of others in your field. On this page, you will find guides and tools to help you format citations, and you will learn about what constitutes plagiarism.

How to Cite Sources

With all of the many ways that you can plagiarize someone’s work, either accidentally or on purpose, how can you make sure that you’re citing your sources correctly each and every time? One way is to become familiar with reputable sources that will help you learn or confirm that how you are citing your source is correct.

PurdueOWL contains writing guides, grammatical rules, and citation help that will assist with many writing projects.

Zotero is an ideal tool to gather, analyze, and document all of your sources.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism means taking someone else’s work or ideas and trying to pass them off as your own. Plagiarism can either be intentional or unintentional, and even the most careful writer could accidentally plagiarize without fully knowing it. For example, did you know that it is plagiarism even if you misattribute a quote to the wrong author? Even if you cited the source and took care to put their name in your bibliography, if the wrong person received credit for someone else’s work, it can still be considered plagiarism. Other lesser known forms of plagiarism include:

  • Copy and pasting someone else’s work and turning it in as your own (without citing your source)
  • Using a quote from someone without giving them credit
  • Inadvertently giving the wrong person credit, thereby not giving credit to the correct source
  • Not putting a quotation in quotation marks
  • Changing a few words here and there, but keeping the main ideas of a sentence without giving credit to the original author

That just includes written works. There are other ways that you might accidentally be plagiarizing images, videos, and music, too:

  • Copying pictures from Google or another website to use without saying where you found the image
  • Using copyrighted music or video clips without permission. This includes playing "cover songs" without permission, too.
  • Making a video that includes copyrighted music or movies playing in the background

Of course, all of these scenarios of potential plagiarism can be avoided by knowing how to properly cite your sources. Just say where you found the image or who wrote the book and you’ll be fine.

Get in Touch

Chloe Barnett

Chloe Barnett

Instruction & Reference Librarian
Liaison Librarian for Philosophy    
801.832.2266
cbarnett@westminstercollege.edu

Librarians are happy to answer questions via email, phone, or in-person.

Contact Chloe with a question or to schedule a research help appointment.

Chat with a Librarian

Chat is available 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. weekdays during Fall and Spring semesters.

If a library staff member doesn't respond quickly, they may be helping someone else. Leave your question and email address to receive a reply.