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

Library research tips for Professor Byrnes' FYS
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
Giving well, doing good : readings for thoughtful philanthropists
Give smart : philanthropy that gets results
Understanding philanthropy : its meaning and mission

Searching WorldCat@SU

WorldCat@SU allows users to search the catalog and multiple article databases at once. Create a list of keywords for your topic by thinking of synonyms and related words or concepts. Then use WorldCat@SU to search by keyword and find print and electronic resources at Smith Library Center and libraries worldwide.

Tip #1:  When you find a good book, open the Description (located in the full record) to find related subject headings. Subject headings are standardized tags that describe the content of an item. Results using subject headings are often more relevant than results from a keyword search.

The book covers in the scrolling gallery all link directly to the book record in WorldCat@SU. Go to the record and open Description to get a sense of useful subject headings for this course.

Searching databases for articles

Another way to find articles is to use a database. 

WorldCat@SU only finds a fraction of the articles available through our databases. Databases allow you to search specifically for articles. Not only do databases find more articles, they provide more precise search tools than WorldCat, yielding better results.

Multidisciplinary, with full-text articles from academic journals, magazines, and newspapers.  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. 

A multi-disciplinary database with scholarly, full-text content. Coverage goes all the way back to the 19th century, but there is no current content for many journals. 

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Evaluating websites

Evaluate websites for Authority, Accuracy, Currency, Relevancy, and Purpose, particularly if you are going to use one as a source. Listed here are several Charity Watchdog sites that meet all the evaluation criteria.

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?

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?

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?

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?
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Cite your sources

Always cite your sources! Providing a citation credits sources you use, and helps your paper's readers find these sources.

Turabian Quick Guide covers the basics of Turabian style. The Manual has more detailed information and can be found in the Research Commons and on Reserve.

Credo v Wikipedia

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


Clicking the SU Bike icon will take you to the Research Hub.