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FYPS 052: Family and Gender in East Asia: Home

Search Strategy

Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research:

  • Begin by narrowing down your topic and developing an initial research question.
  • Use the keyword brainstorming worksheet to help you tweak your research question, identify keywords and related terms, and keep track of what you find.  
  • Search in a library catalog (Summon, OBISOhioLINK and/or WorldCat) to find books and reference sources.  These sources will:
    • provide BACKGROUND and CONTEXT
    • REVIEW and SUMMARIZE earlier work
    • help you FOCUS your topic and
    • provide CITATIONS to important books, journal articles, conference papers, interviews, etc.
  • Next, search research databases to find articles. The library has hundreds of databases; those listed on this guide are good places to begin.
  • You may also wish to use Google Scholar to search the Internet.  This is a great tool for doing cited reference searches.

Search Tips

Phrase searching
Use phrase searching when word order is important.
- "iron curtain"
- "musical union"
Use * to substitute for 1-5 characters. Use ** to substitute for truncation of any number of characters. Use ? to substitute for a single character.
- photograph*
- dmit** shosta** (Dmitri Shostakovich)
- wom?n
- alga?

Use "AND" to search ALL words. Use "OR" to search ANY single word. Use "NOT" to exclude words. Use parentheses to group similar words.

- (zooplankton OR crustacea*) AND
(marine OR ocean** OR sea)

- environmental policy NOT united states


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Alonso Avila
106 Mudd Center
(Mary Church Terrell Main Library)

Research Help