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World Religion: Getting Started

How to Use This Guide

Things to Keep in MindPhoto of Pagoda in Taiwan

For many Comparative/World Religion topics, books can be the best type of source. There are three different types of books linked to this guide.

  • Sacred Books tab:  the actual religious texts (examples: Qur'an; Bible)
  • Background information tab: mostly academic encyclopedias
  • Books tab: "regular" books that go into more depth on a topic

For other types of sources, check out the Databases tab, and the Virtual Religion Index  (link to the lower right of this page)

Tips for Research & Scholarly Writing

5-Star Source Evaluation with 5 Evaluation Areas Explained: Author, Audience, Purpose, Content, & Context

Try these to get more specific or broader results

Wild Card

  • Use a * to include forms or variants of words in your search
  • Example: type test* to search for test, testing, tests

Adding a ~

  • Adding a tilde (~) to your search term will return related terms.
  • Example: ~nutrition will search also nutrition, food and health

Adding a -

  • Adding a negative (-) to your search term will take away that term in your search.
  • Example: Pets -cats will not find web sites that focus upon cats as pets.

Phrase Search

  • By inserting quotes around an exact phase, you will search only the words you type in, in that exact order with no words in between term.
  • Example: "consumer product chemistry"

Boolean Operators

  • Using AND, OR, NOT can broaden or narrow a search depending on your inquiry. "AND" will give you results that contain both words. "OR" will give results about either word and "NOT" will not search the term preceding.
  • Example: Summer AND Flower, Summer OR Flower, Summer NOT flower




Definition: In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledg­ing its source.

While some types of writing aren't as concerned with documenting sources, ideas, images, sounds, etc. traditional academic writing requires these best practices.

Sources: and


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