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Plant and Soil Sciences

Resources in Plant and Soil Sciences

Resources in this Guide are intended to support the study and teaching of the Plant Sciences covering production biology, weed and disease control, plant physiology and ecology, horticulture, and landscape architecture, as well as the Soil Sciences covering soil microbiology, biogeochemistry, hydrology, erosion control, pollution management and plant-soil interactions.

Included in this Guide are resources in a variety of formats, including:

  • Encyclopedias and Books
  • Journals and Journal Articles
  • Indexes and Databases
  • Resources freely available on the Web
  • Local University Resources

Search Strategy and Choosing Keywords

Choose a research topic that interests you. Once you have thought of a topic, try stating it in the form of a question. This will help to narrow your topic and focus upon the aspect of the topic that you are going to research. So if you first thought of writing about Plants and Pollution, try stating it in the form of a question: "How can plants be used as buffers to mitigate and control pollution?"

Reading an overview of your topic from a general source such as an encyclopedia provides background information, key words, and often a list of books and articles for further reading. This is the only step at which using Wikipedia is appropriate. Use the background information you located to determine key words or phrases that might be used to describe your topic. You may want to focus on a particular plant (barley) or a particular aspect of production (weed control).

You can use these keywords to search for books or magazine, journal and/or newspaper articles. Use the tabs on this guide to learn about each of these formats.