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Library Research Step by Step
For LIGN 105
The Research Process in a Nutshell
1. Start with a question or topic.
2. Think about where the answer—or a piece of
the pu...
0. Before you get started
• The licenses for most of our research tools
require that users are on UCSD IP addresses
– Are ...
1. Choose a search strategy to find a
case that is worth analyzing through a
linguistic lens.
• Option 1: Search for a cas...
2. Choose tools that might be useful
for this project.
• “The Law” is rules developed by
legislative bodies, administrativ...
Legal Databases
The Library has three major databases for finding law
reviews and primary source material.
• Westlaw Next
...
3. Choose your search strategies for
each research tool.
• In most databases, you can combine
terms with and (both terms m...
4. Refine your search with limits.
• Most databases have some sort of limits
you can apply, for example:
– date ranges
– p...
5. Get the actual item.
• If the full text isn’t available in your search
results. Look for the button.
• Link to full tex...
6. Get the citation information. You
need this for your bibliography.
You list the works you cite so that readers
interest...
Most plagiarism that happens at UC
San Diego is accidental.
7. Evaluate the items you find.
• Does it answer the
question?
• What are the
author’s credentials?
– And what sources do
...
8. Try different tools & repeat
until you have enough
to write your paper!
• Check the help screens or guides to
each data...
To Recap
1. Start with a question or topic.
2. Think about where the answer—or a
piece of the puzzle—might have been
artic...
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Lign105 guide

Library research guide for UC San Diego LIGN 105: Law & Language

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Lign105 guide

  1. 1. Library Research Step by Step For LIGN 105
  2. 2. The Research Process in a Nutshell 1. Start with a question or topic. 2. Think about where the answer—or a piece of the puzzle—might have been articulated. 3. Choose tools that will help you find those publications/information sources. 4. Use those tools to find information you can use. 5. Repeat.
  3. 3. 0. Before you get started • The licenses for most of our research tools require that users are on UCSD IP addresses – Are you on the wireless network at UCSD? • Make sure you’re using the UCSD-PROTECTED network. – Are you off-campus? • Make sure you’re using the VPN
  4. 4. 1. Choose a search strategy to find a case that is worth analyzing through a linguistic lens. • Option 1: Search for a case that deals with a topic that interests you and then analyze it linguistically. • Option 2: The most difficult way to approach the assignment is to choose a linguistics concept and then try to find a case that fits to it. However, you can try searching on some of the themes you've discussed in class. • Option 3: Find a more recent case that cites a case you've discussed in class and find more recent cases that cite it.
  5. 5. 2. Choose tools that might be useful for this project. • “The Law” is rules developed by legislative bodies, administrative agencies, and courts • We have many legal research tools, each of which helps you find a specific, limited kind and amount of information. For this assignment, you’re looking specifically for published court opinions.
  6. 6. Legal Databases The Library has three major databases for finding law reviews and primary source material. • Westlaw Next – Best bet for appellate level cases, law reviews, and other secondary sources. Has proprietary commentary. • LexisNexis Academic – Best bet for appellate level cases, law reviews, and some other secondary sources. Has proprietary commentary. • HeinOnline – Best bet for primary sources and law reviews
  7. 7. 3. Choose your search strategies for each research tool. • In most databases, you can combine terms with and (both terms must appear in the hit)and or (one term must appear in the hit—for synonyms or evenly weighted terms) – ambiguity and immigration – law or legal
  8. 8. 4. Refine your search with limits. • Most databases have some sort of limits you can apply, for example: – date ranges – publication types (e.g., scholarly articles, dissertations, book chapters, etc.) – languages – peer reviewed articles • When you find good hits, look at the subject headings (in Westlaw, this is called KeyCite). These are controlled vocabulary assigned to describe the topic in the database. Also skim the abstracts for additional keywords. Try running new searches using those terms. • Find more citations by looking at sources that cite the sources you find. Look for a citing references link in the database. (If your database doesn’t have this, Google Scholar does.)
  9. 9. 5. Get the actual item. • If the full text isn’t available in your search results. Look for the button. • Link to full text if available. • No full text? – Try for the print • No UCSD access at all? – You can usually request the item from another library using the link. – For books, try or
  10. 10. 6. Get the citation information. You need this for your bibliography. You list the works you cite so that readers interested in your research can find and read the resources you used to draw your conclusions. • Email records to yourself as a backup. • Some databases can export the citation in a specific format (e.g. APA, Chicago, MLA) • Use Zotero, EndNote Web, or Mendeley to manage, store, and format your citations
  11. 11. Most plagiarism that happens at UC San Diego is accidental.
  12. 12. 7. Evaluate the items you find. • Does it answer the question? • What are the author’s credentials? – And what sources do they cite? • Is the source current enough for the kind of research you're doing?
  13. 13. 8. Try different tools & repeat until you have enough to write your paper! • Check the help screens or guides to each database for specifics on combining your terms and whether your results are ranked by date or relevance. • When you find good hits, look at the subject headings/descriptors. Try running new searches using those terms.
  14. 14. To Recap 1. Start with a question or topic. 2. Think about where the answer—or a piece of the puzzle—might have been articulated. 3. Choose tools that will help you find those publications/information sources. 4. Use those tools to find information you can use. 5. Repeat.

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