Religious Studies 3990
Junior Seminar: Religion and Public Life
Instructor: Bob Flanagan, email@example.com
Choosing a Topic
Appropriate topics for this seminar can be along the lines of:
- the role of religion in the 19th century Abolitionist movements
- the history of religion's role in public schools in the U.S.
- arguments among Israelis about the role of religion in various policies
- the role of religion in promoting or discouraging the expansion of women's rights in various national or regional contexts
- the changing role of religion in contemporary U.S., European, or Asian politics
- religion's role in American or European social reform movements
For more ideas and examples, check the following:
- In the Gale Virtual Reference Library database, go to Advanced Search, choose Subject Area: Religion, and search for a topic, e.g. social reform; women's roles; slavery. This is also a good way to find reliable basic information.
- For current-news topics, use Factiva. Under Subjects, expand the category Political/General News, then choose Society/Community/Work and select Religion. You can then narrow your search by typing additional words in the search box, e.g., Israel political parties and/or by specifying a region or country (in the Region category).
- For historical topics, search Google News Archive for words like religion missouri to see what was in the press during a desired time period.
Books: Where to Find
- MERLIN Catalog (set for MU Libraries only)
- Many religion books will be in "B" call number ranges located on the 3rd floor East
- To locate any call number in Ellis Library, select and copy the call number, follow any MU ELLIS link in the catalog record, choose "Help Me Find My Book," paste the call number into the search blank, and run the search.
- MERLIN Catalog (set for all UM campuses) - use your PawPrint and password to have books sent to MU.
- MOBIUS Catalog - (most academic libraries in Missouri) - use 0 + student ID number + c to have books sent to MU
- Worldcat (U.S. and some international libraries) use PawPrint and password to have books sent to MU via ILL@MU
Known Items (Books and Articles)
If you already have the author and/or title or other bibliographic information on a particular book or journal article you need, use the Find a Specific Book and Find a Specific Article or Journal links from the left side of the MU Libraries home page.
Books: Subject and Keyword Searching
When using online library catalogs:
- Use keyword searches to find good subject headings in the catalog record - click subject heading to find more books on the same subject
- Use * to search for variations of a word, e.g. religio*
- Use OR and ( ) to search for synonyms and AND to specify more terms
- religio* AND (school* OR educat*) AND (public or government or state)
- (religio* OR church* OR spiritual*) AND (abolition* OR anti-slave*)
Use Google Book Search for searching within books (use for narrow searches, e.g. "American Reconstructionism" )
- Put phrases in "quotation marks"
- Try Advanced Search options for more precise searching
- If the full-text article is not immediately available, use the button to find online full text or a link to the MERLIN catalog for journals, magazines and newspapers in printed format.
- If no button is available, you must copy and paste the article information into the Article Finder.
- In Ellis Library, the most current issues of most journals, magazines and newspapers are kept in the Current Periodicals Reading Room. Earlier issues are kept with the books on the upper floors of the library, at the call numbers specified in the MERLIN record for the journal.
Your Annotated Bibliography
Zotero- a free bibliographic management software product for storing and formatting citations
Portable Firefox - a free download that allows you to put a version of the Firefox browser on your usb drive (flash drive, jump drive)
Zotero plugins for Word and Open Office