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FYS: Doing Good and Doing It Well: The Philosophy and Practice of Philanthropy

Library research tips for Professor Byrnes' FYS
Giving well, doing good : readings for thoughtful philanthropists
Give smart : philanthropy that gets results
Understanding philanthropy : its meaning and mission
Giving well : the ethics of philanthropy
Do More Than Give
Bread from Stones: the Middle East and the making of modern humanitarianism
Doing Bad by Doing Good: why humanitarian action fails
Closing the Food Gap: resetting the table in the land of plenty
Street Practice: changing the lens on poverty and public assistance
Animal Welfare
Childhood Victimization: violence, crime and abuse in the lives of young people
Rethinking Domestic Violence
Public Health for an Aging Society
The New Faces of American Poverty

Start exploring here

Credo is an academic alternative to Wikipedia. In addition to The Almanac of American Philanthropy relevant to this course, it includes a topic page for philanthropy.

Search Tip

Think about keywords related to philanthropy in general, or a specific community issue, to start your search in the library's WorldCat catalog. When you find a good book, try the "More like this" subject links to find more books on the topic.

Try some of these subject headings related to specific causes in WorldCat:

animal welfare | poverty | homelessness | literacy | child welfare | family violence  | health care | hunger + United States

Suggested Databases for Articles

Academic Search Complete is a comprehensive multi-disciplinary full-text database. Start your research for articles here!  Tip #1: View an article's full record to read the abstract, or summary, and quickly decide if it is useful for your research.  Tip #2: Use the subject links from the full record to find additional articles.

Current scholarly articles, 100% full-text, interdisciplinary. For a video tutorial on searching Project Muse, click here.

JSTOR is a multi-disciplinary database which provides scholarly, full-text content. While coverage goes all the way back to the 19th century, be aware there is no current content for many journals. 

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Evaluating websites

Use these criteria to evaluate a website: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose

Currency: the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority: the source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?
    • examples: .com (commercial), .edu (educational), .gov (U.S. government), .org (nonprofit organization), or .net (network)

Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: the reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
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Charity websites

Try using the CRAAP test, in addition to a watchdog site, to evaluate the websites for these charities. 

Tiger Missing Link Foundation

African Wildlife Foundation

Kid's Wish Network

Make-A-Wish International

Turabian (Chicago) Citation Style

Research isn't complete until you correctly cite all your sources. Provide a complete citation to credit the authors / creators of sources you used, and to let your paper's reader locate and verify these sources. 

Turabian Quick Guide covers the basics of Turabian formatting and style. For the most complete information, use the Manual, available in the Research Commons and on Reserve.