It is common for scholars to scroll to the end of an article to peruse a bibliography before she even reads the article. She's wondering, "What research has this author engaged with?" "What evidence does this author find compelling?" She knows the conversation around a topic very well - you don't yet! But bibliographies are still helpful to you.
As you work through the article, notice where the author cites arguments or evidence.
When you find points where an author seems to disagree with another source, or when an author seems to be building upon previous sources, go find those.
Here are some ways to do that:
Copy and paste the citation, in whole or in part, into the search bar on www.lib.utexas.edu
Or, do the same on Google Scholar:
JSTOR has a new tool in Beta called text analyzer. If you have an article or text you like, you can upload it and the tool will analyze the text and break down for you key terms.
Sometimes it will lead you to similar articles or ideas, but even at a basic level, it can be helpful to use this tool for keyword brainstorming.
This tool appears on the main JSTOR page under the search bar.
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