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Judaic Studies at PSU
Judaic Studies is an interdisciplinary field that addresses the history, culture, religion, and social and political life of the Jewish people. This research guide provides an introduction to researching Judaic Studies at PSU.
Judaic Studies Collections at PSU Library
Judaic Studies Program
Starting Your Research
Research in Judaic Studies is both challenging and rewarding in that it requires searching a variety of resources across many fields of study.
The first step is to define your topic. This may seem self-evident, but careful topic definition will make your research more effective. For example, "Zionism" is too broad a topic. What about Zionism are you interested in? If you formulate a question or a thesis, this will help you focus your research. If you ask "Is anti-zionism a form of antisemitism?" you have a specific question you can seek viewpoints and information about. Moreover, you now have two very good search terms to use with databases and catalogs.
Example: A search for "anti-zionism" in the database Academic Search Premier yields 73 articles. A search for "anti-zionism AND antisemitism" returns 36 articles. If the search is limited to full-text articles and scholarly journals, the result is 13 articles. Starting with a broad search, and slowly narrowing down, is a good strategy in most databases.
When you locate information, evaluate sources carefully and critically. The topic used in the example above is controversial, and there are many often opposing perspectives on this issue. Addressing multiple viewpoints will strengthen your research. Finally, be careful to cite all your sources. Be sure to record where you got your information as you do your research. Doing research over to find citations is frustrating!
This research guide was originally developed by Tom Raffensperger in conjunction with faculty from the PSU Harold Schnitizer Family Judaic Studies Program. It was revised by Joan Petit with the assistance of Allen Hauser.
The images used in this guide come from the Library's collection, unless otherwise identified.