Politics 360: Lincoln's Statesmanship (Professor Lucas Morel)

Winter 2023


This guide is designed to be help with the research paper in Professor Morel's Politics 360 class in the Winter 2020 term -- specifically to help identify appropriate sources.

Find Books at Washington and Lee

The library's catalog, accessible through our homepage, can be used to find out what print and online books are available to W&L researchers.  Here are some suggestions.

If You Know a Book's Author or Title

Select Browse Search ( you may have to choose "Advanced Search" to see this) and then use the drop-down menu to:

  • Browse by Author -- enter author's last name, plus some or all of the first name.  For example:  books by Douglass Frederick
  • Browse by Title -- enter the beginning of a book's title.  For example:  titles beginning Harry Potter and.

If You are Searching for Books on a Topic

If you are using the basic "Simple Search" (or "Search Everything"), a drop-down menu will be activated which allows you to select "Books Only."
If you are using "Advanced Search," you can select "Books Only."

You can combine words or forms of words that appear in descriptions of books.  Some examples of starting points:

To find an academic/scholarly book about a particular person (a biography),

  • You can search his/her name (last name first) as the Subject of a book.
  • To make sure that the list of books includes only "scholarly" books, you can include the word "university' in the search (to find books published by university presses), although not all scholarly books are necessarily published by university presses.

Select Advanced Search and then fill out the search form as in this example:


Identifying a Book as "Scholarly"

Consider the author(s).

  • Does the book contain any information about the author's or contributor's background and career?  Role as academic/scholar?  Expertise in the subject area?  Publishing history?   It might be helpful to Google information about the author/contributor.

Consider the publisher.

  • University presses (example: University of Virginia Press) certainly qualify.

Consider methodology.

  • Does the book contain extensive endnotes, bibliography, footnotes, and/or other signs of scholarly methods?  Are there references to primary sources and/or extensive references to earlier scholarly sources?

Consider others' judgments.

  • Are you able to find favorable reviews of the book in scholarly sources?  (See this guide's Find Journal Articles page.)