OU Libraries
OU Libraries

Search by title, author...


Find a topic for a research paper
-- Use encyclopedias
Their entries provide a broad overview of different aspects of a theme, place, event, etc. These aspects may provide ideas to refine your topic. For example:

...  and many more. See list of online encyclopedias.

 -- Explore Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff Thanks to Mel Opposing Viewpoints in Context
A valuable resource to get quick information on current issues. It brings together all the information that’s needed to fully understand an issue: pro and con viewpoint articles, reference articles that provide context, full-text magazines, academic journals, and newspapers, primary source documents, government and organizational statistics, multimedia, including images and podcasts, links to hand-selected web sites, and more!


  -- Try new search engines
Some search engines organize and visualize search results in categories and subcategories, and these categories can provide help narrowing down a broad topic.
  • DeeperWeb: powered by Google, it allows you to refine your search by adding or excluding words in Deeper Cloud (see image), by selecting specific categories of information, and more!

-- Read Mary George's Elements of Library Research
It provides excellent advice and lots of tips on how to find an appropriate topic. 
Find articles
Apart from Google Scholar, here are some general, multi-disciplinary databases that may be useful to get started. For more specific information, check out specialized databases.


Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff Expanded Academic ASAP Although smaller than Academic OneFile, it specifically targets academic users in every discipline.


For specialized databases, see the library's Databases by Subject guide.
Improve your search in Google
Watch Google's presentation on search techniques.

Learn more about what you can do with Google's search engine:
Google Search Tricks on Prezi
Library Contact
Picture: Emily Spunaugle

Emily Spunaugle
Assistant Professor, Humanities Librarian

Research Assistance

Ask a Librarian
Ask a research question by phone, chat, email, or in person at the research help desk.

Research Consultation
Sign up online for an individual session with a librarian to get help with your research.

Find Books

Library OneSearch
Use the catalog to find books, videos, recordings, and goverment documents we have at the library.

A statewide catalog of many of Michigan's libraries. It allows you to request books at another library be sent to Kresge Library for you.

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan
You may request materials we don't have and we'll borrow them from another library for you.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar
Web of Science

Web of Science Article Search  



Refworks allows you to create a personal database of references and automatically generate formatted bibliographies for your projects.

Writing Help

Writing Resources for Students
Find in-depth information about the mechanics of writing, MLA/APA citations, avoiding plagiarism, and more.

Writing Center
The consultants can help you with every stage of the writing process.


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