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American Criminal Courts & the Judicial Process

Catalog Searching Tips

Use the catalog to locate books on your topic.  For very specific legal topics, books might not be the best place to locate information, however you might find more in depth information on some legal topics in books rather than in the reference books previously noted.

For each book or article you find and use, write down or print out the complete citation information.  You’ll need all this information later on for your bibliography/list of works cited and to locate the article or book again if necessary. You can also use a citation management tool.

General Search Tips:

  • Keep track of the terms you come across (subject headings, etc.).  Write them down!  This helps build your vocabulary within the topic you are researching.
  • Think of as many synonyms as you can for the terms you are searching.  For example, if you are searching for a topic having to do with teens, you should also be searching for teen* (the asterisk will search for different endings of a word), teenager*, youth, young people, adolescents, juveniles.        

Crime and Criminal Justice

Law and Legal Research

Begin with reference books to find background on a topic, define terms, and possibly find cases or laws cited relating to your topic.  These are especially helpful for federal laws and federal court cases, although some state laws and cases are mentioned.

Get Books Outside of Jennings Library

To find books not available in the Jennings Library, use Interlibrary loan or Vale Reciprocal Borrowing.