Once you have found background resources on your paper, start looking for books and other library material in our library's catalog, available on our home page (www.bu.edu/sthlibrary). If you have an idea of what you want (a title, author, or relevant subject heading, perhaps information from background articles you read) begin your search there!
However, there's a chance you may not know where to start. Don't worry! Start with a keyword search of your topic. Let's start with the term "Elijah." There are over 13,000 entries for Elijah in our catalog. That's very overwhelming! To limit your search, add another word to your search (for example, "fire.). Now, the catalog will search for records that contain both the words "Elijah" and "fire." There's a lot less results now (under 1,000). You're on the right track!
You can use filters to limit results to exactly what you're looking for! Prefer books? Limit resource type to books on the right side. Do the same for date of creation, library, language, etc. as you prefer! On the top, you can limit books to available in library or available online. BU has 10 books or e-books to browse that contain both "Elijah" and "fire" in the record. That's a little more manageable.
Your search may have missed others on your subject, though. Did you find the perfect source in your search? Use the "subject headings" under the More Information tab; here, librarians group together books under the same heading- making it easier for you to find alike resources! If a book is available on shelf, always browse around the area, too. We use Library of Congress Classification (see the box at the bottom of the page), and books are shelved according to subject, meaning other useful resources may be really close by!
Always check the footnotes, references, and bibliographies from resources you found useful! This footnote hoping may find you the perfect resource for your paper!
Finding journal articles isn't difficult, either! Applying the sleuthing techniques you learned by finding books, you can also find the perfect journal article for your research!
Our library's catalog includes full-text journal articles from many of the e-journals and databases BU owns. Start your search there, limiting your search to "articles" on the left side. That said, not every e-journal and database article that we have access to appears in a keyword search. Note that you should directly search our databases (for example, you should get very familiar with the ATLA Religion Database. Learn more about it on our box just to the left!) Check Boston University's complete list of databases to determine which is most helpful to you and your paper writing needs. When searching databases, you may find the perfect journal article, but BU doesn't have access to it online. Search for the journal title in our online catalog- we may have it in print format! If we don't, you may want to request the article as an interlibrary loan.