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THAR 125: Introduction to Acting

What is analysis?

Where some of the questions you need to investigate have factual answers, some of them are more speculative. You can usually tell when a question requires a more analytical or theoretical answer when it begins with words like "Why" or "What is the cause of..." In these instances, there isn't necessarily one right, factual answer. These kinds of questions are the most fun questions to ask and investigate! They give you a chance to explore what other scholars think about important issues in your field, and they also give you a chance to come up with your own ideas.

Usually when you're investigating a speculative or theoretical question, you want to look for scholarly sources. Scholarly sources are written by experts in a particular field (like your professors!), and are usually subjected to a process called peer review, where other experts read the article and give feedback on whether the research methods and conclusions are valid. They are often published in specialized journals, which you only have access to through university libraries. These are the kinds of resources that you can't find easily through internet search engines. 

Scholarly books (also called monographs) are also great sources for answering more theoretical questions. Scholarly books often delve very deeply into a particular subject; sometimes you'll find that you don't need to read the entire book to answer your question, but can focus instead on a single chapter or section. 

When you encounter a question that seems like it probably has a theoretical, rather than a factual answer, you usually want to turn to a library database to try to find out what scholars have said about your question. 

Finding Books

OneSearch is a great place to start to find books for your research. OneSarch is a database of all the books, both e-books and print, as well as other media, that are available in the library. You can search by keyword, or, if you know what you're looking for, you can search by author, title, journal title, ISBN, and more. 


Search OneSearch for books, media, articles, primary sources, newspapers, journals, and more. Selecting CSU+ will allow you to search across all CSU libraries and request items we don't have.

Of course, there are many books that the library doesn't own, and the one you want might be one of those! Never fear! The library can get almost any book you need for you, for free, in only a few days. 

You can find books outside of the library in a few ways. Of course you can always search Google or Amazon, and once you've found a title you're want, look for it in the library catalog or CSU+. You can also use a tool called WorldCat, which will tell you right away whether we have the book you're interested in, and give you links to request it automatically. 

WorldCat is a database of books owned by libraries around the world. If a book's been published, you can almost definitely find it in WorldCat. 

Search for an item in libraries near you: