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 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.
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.
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.
Find Books Using GriffinSearch
GriffinSearch is a good starting place if you are looking for books, journal articles, films, and other materials 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. To get started, search by keyword or type in the title of a book here:
WorldCat 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.
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.
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 library you are interested in for details.
Popular Titles and Featured Texts
From Arithmetic to Metaphysics : A Path Through Philosophical Logic
An Introduction to Ethics : A Natural Law Approach
Philosophy : An Innovative Introduction: Fictive Narrative, Primary Texts, and Responsive Writing
Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations : A Critical Guide
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 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.
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.
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.
JSTOR is an interdisciplinary archive of full text articles from journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. It includes retrospective coverage of publications which means that a majority of the articles will be 1 to 5 years old. To search for anthropology or archeology articles, after entering your search terms, scroll down to “Journal Filter” and select anthropology or archeology.
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. They offer a detailed formatting guide for APA/IEEE which contains complete examples for just about any source you may use in footnotes/endnotes, in-text citations and reference lists. For ACM citation style, visit the ACM reference and formatting page.
Zotero is the ideal tool to gather, analyze, and document all of your sources. It is compatible with GriffinSearch and other library databases, allowing you to save citations and articles while you research. Visit the Zotero website to find out more, or stop by the library for some help getting started.
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 it in your bibliography, if the wrong person received credit for someone else’s work, it can still be considered plagiarism. Other forms of plagiarism include:
- Copying and pasting someone else’s work and turning it in as your own
- Using a quote from someone without giving them credit
- 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
- Copying pictures from Google or another website to use without saying where you found the image
Of course, all of these scenarios of potential plagiarism can be avoided by knowing how to properly cite your sources.