Books typically provide comprehensive, thorough treatment of a subject, including background or historical information. However, because it can take years to write and publish books, they generally don't contain the most current information available.
You can find books via the SLU Libraries Catalog and SLUth Search Plus. In order to find scholarly books, look for those written by scholars and published by University presses and scholarly associations.
Use books to:
- gather a lot of information on a topic.
- contextualize your topic.
- find historical information.
- find summaries of research to support an argument.
Remember, you don't need to read the whole book to use it! Use the table of contents and index to find relevant chapters!
Scholarly or Popular?
Books can fall into either of these categories. Look for books published by university presses and scholarly associations, written by authors with degrees and credentials in the field. Scholarly or academic books will also cite their sources and will have a lengthy list of references.