Bookplate of Winward Prescott, via Pratt Institute Library's Flickr collection of book plates (click image to further explore)
To help you with jewelry-related research, this guide offers research tips and strategies. Learn how to find books, articles and images as well as avoid plagiarism, cite your sources and more! Need help? Contact us! (see right)
The CRAP Test
Purpose/Point of View
Adapted from Dominican University
When doing jewelry-related research, begin by brainstorming keywords and concepts related to your topic. Then use these keywords as search terms when searching for images, articles and books in library databases and PrattCat, our library catalog.
Consider the following, depending on your topic:
Jewelry Form / Type - such as bracelet, brooch, necklace, ornament, ring, etc.
Material(s) - examples include beadwork, gem(s), plastic, metalwork, glass, bakelite, etc.
Technique(s) - such as carved, cast, cut, fabricated, filed, forged, metalsmithing, mounted, silversmithing, soldered, etc.
Style - this category may correspond to a particular time period. Examples include: art deco, contemporary, etc.
Subject(s) - what is the the primary subject of the work? Is the subject abstracted or organic? Is it a realistic depiction of a specific plant, creature, etc.?
Date - examples include a specific year, decade or decades, and century (2013, art deco or 1920s, 19th century, modern, contemporary, etc.).
Title of work - both the offical name and any alternate titles or spellings (including those of other languages).
Jeweler's Name - both his/her formal name and/or any nicknames or alternate name spellings.
What search terms can you think of? There's no one, correct search term (or search for that matter). In fact, using multiple search terms and conducting several searches is what pays off!
Research is like a treasure hunt or solving a mystery.
We have to try to combine the right terms in the right place to find the information we need.
How should you combine search terms to find what you are looking for?
Search for information using the single most important term related to your topic. Use this type of search when looking for basic background information.
Search for information by combining key concepts using the words you have brainstormed. Each concept/word should be separated by the word "AND". Use this kind of search when looking for specific evidence related to your claim/thesis.
Getting Too Many Irrelevant Results?
Add more search terms for narrower results.
Getting Too Few Relevant Results?
Change, switch out, or remove some search terms for more accurate or broader results.
Remember: It pays to search smart in library resources
use AND to combine search terms, creating results with overlap of 2 terms or concepts
use OR between search terms to generate more results
use NOT if you want to exclude a term or concept from your results
use quotation marks "__" around a phrase to search for concepts represented by a few words
use the wildcard * (an asterisk) at the end of the root of a word to get results containing all versions of a word