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RELS-255: Research Methods


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Gillian Akenson
Joseph S. Stauffer Library, Rm 105-A
(I am in the office but can also meet virtually via Teams or Zoom.)
(613) 533-6000 ext 74526


Welcome to the RELS-355 library research course guide. It has been designed to introduce students to library research tools e.g. books and scholarly journal articles for your coursework, and the skills required to search them effectively and efficiently.

By reviewing the sections in this guide, you will be able to:

  • select appropriate resources to search for and locate religious studies literature;
  • implement a variety of search strategies in order to find information effectively and efficiently;
  • evaluate sources critically in order to determine what information to incorporate and what to reject; and
  • cite research in the appropriate documentation style for RELS-355

About this Guide

This course guide consists of five sections of varying length:

1. Introduction: Some introductory remarks and a quick overview of this guide.

2. Finding Sources. A general orientation to doing research with library tools that includes tips for finding information using the collections at Queen's Library but also useful checklists for evaluating information prior to use.

3. Writing your paper.

4. Citing Sources. A link to RA's footnote and bibliography site along with other guidance for citation.

5. Conclusion: Where to go for research help.

Steps of Research

The steps illustrated in the figure are intended to provide you with a structured approach to identify and manage the appropriate information for your research paper. You may be tempted to skip the first steps -- most of us have been found guilty at some point of this infraction -- but research is an iterative process, each subsequent step building upon the information acquired earlier.