Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Step-by-Step Guide & Research Rescue: Medicine, Alternative

This guide will help you understand how to efficiently and effectively do basic research.

Step 1. Locate Alternative Medicine Background Information

This guide leads you through the research process for Academic Freedom topics. For general tips on the research process, click on the Basic Research Strategy tab above.

Related Subject Guide - Health Science


For Specialized print encyclopedias, use the Science Reference collection, Level 2:

  • Alternative Medicine Sourcebook (Sci Ref R 733 .A475 2002)
  • The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine (Sci Ref R 733 .G34 2001) - 2005 edition available online through Gale Virtual Reference Library, linked below.
  • Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies (Sci Ref RZ 433 .S54 1998)

For Specialized online encyclopedias, use the following databases. For subject specific background resources, use the Health Science Subject Guide.

Step 2. Develop & Narrow Your Topic

After reading Background Resources, you should be able to fill out the following "From Topic to Research Focus" formula.  NOTE: This is NOT the same as your Thesis Statement.  Your Thesis Statement is developed after you read Research Materials about your issue/question, determine your stance, and decide how you will present your attitude/angle/argument. For examples of how to use the "From Topic to Research Focus" rubric, click on the Develop and Narrow Topic tab at the top of this page.

1)  I am researching ______________________________________ (topic)
2)  because I want to find out _______________________________  (issue/question)
3)  in order to ____________________________________________ (application)

Organize your Research Focus into concepts: identify terms, think of synonyms, and organize them using this chart.

(Concept 1) _______________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 1)

AND (Concept 2) ___________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 2)

AND (Concept 3) ___________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 3)

Step 3. Find Research Materials for Alternative Medicine topics

For Books use the Books & More search to find specific titles from the bibliographies you noted above. Use the Books & More - Advanced Search to find additional books on your issue question. Referring back to the concept chart above, enter your keyword search, one concept for each box.

For Articles use the Articles & More - Advanced Search selecting Collection: Life Sciences and Social Sciences. Referring back to the concept chart above, enter your keyword search, one concept for each box. Click Go to begin the search. Click on the title of the article to read the abstract. Click the Full Text Available and Check for Full Text to view the entire article.

To retrieve additional articles, connect to the databases linked below, or select them from Databases A-Z in the Databases & Journals box on the Library Home Page. Depending on how you have narrowed your subject, other databases listed on the Health Science Subject Guide may also be appropriate.