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UMKC University Libraries

PHILOS 320 History of Modern Philosophy

This resource guide was developed specifically for Philosophy 320 and the Semester Research Project. The guide provides access to numerous research tools and services directly related to your project.

Database Exploration

Database Exploration Activity 


  1. Work in groups of 4.
  2. Discuss your umbrella topic and identify keywords in your group to start your search.
  3. Decide your roles:
    1. One person with a computer is the “searcher”- they search for sources in the database given to them
    2. One person is the “documenter”- they share in this Google doc the research process that the group uses
    3. Everyone else gives suggestions for search strategy, evaluates what the group finds, notes questions that come up during the search
  4. At the end of 30 minutes, each group should have found one good source and put a citation to it in the Google Doc AND have noted one useful feature of the database.
  5. Be ready to share with the class!

Background Information

Search for information using the single most important term related to your topic. Use this type of search when looking for basic background information. Consider using the Library's online encyclopedias to further browse your topic and read background information.

Scholarly Articles

Search for information by combining key concepts using the words you have brainstormed. Each concept/word should be linked by the word "AND". Use this kind of search when looking for specific evidence related to your claim/thesis. To find research articles, try using one of these library databases.

Primary Sources

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