GWS R1B: Gender, Violence & Globalization

How to use this tab

This course guide is created as a teaching tool and designed to be read as a unit. Doing so will provide the context for selecting the "right" resource and the techniques for manipulating it -- knowledge and skills that will support immediate and future research needs.

The notes in the putting it all together tab contain suggestions about how to proceed with research, based on your assignment. These suggestions build upon, and presume familiarity with, the general concepts addressed in the other tabbed sections of this course guide.

A research trajectory

  1. Choose a topic. Your readings will likely suggest areas of interest.

  2. Review the information in the Choosing a Resource tab.  Make sure you understand how the identified resources differ in the types of information and/or materials they provide.

  3. Review suggested resources section of this tab.

  4. Choose a resource whose content matches the kind of materials you are seeking to find and whose disciplinary focus maps to your topic (i.e. publications in that field are likely to be writing about it).

    Or... choose a General (interdisciplinary) database.

    Try one of the suggested resources, or choose one of your own based on its description and subject focus.

  5. Search to see what's been written about your topic -- or what issues others are writing about in regards to your topic that might help you refine your focus.

    • see Tips section of this tab for help with searching
    • see Tips section for help with defining your topic

  6. Examine promising results.
    • remember to note the information you'll need if you end up citing them

Suggested resources


  • to find books on your topic
  • to find the periodicals (scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers) that you have already identified as having articles on your topic
  • to find encyclopedias and get background information

Article databases SUBJECT...
  • to identify article and essay content on your topic
  • to identify current research
  • to identify research focused on an aspect of a topic
  • to search publications from a specific discipline: gender & womens studies, history, sociology, film studies, etc.
    ...or try a GENERAL one..
  • they are interdisciplinary
  • often have popular sources as well as scholarly materials

    Academic Search Complete
    • popular and scholarly content (good for popular culture topics)
    • some results available online
    • has UC-eLinks feature
    Google Scholar
    • strength is scholarly journal literature
    • Use UC-eLinks to get full text
    • Enable UC-eLinks to display (use Scholar Preferences > Library links)
    • scholarly journals
    • full text resource
    • use advanced search mode (to narrow to specific discipline)

News databases

  • access via Library homepage > Electronic resources > By type> News Databases
  • review description: alternative or mainstream press, historical time period, geographical focus, etc.

    Access World News
    • full text news database
    • over 600 U.S. and over 700 international sources
    • can search by geographical location
    • source list provides inventory of titles included and dates covered
    AltPress Watch
    • full text resource
    • alternative, radical, and independent magazines, newspapers, and journals in North America

Encyclopedias (subject encyclopedias)

  • to find background on topic | biographical information on practitioner in field
  • link via Library homepage > Electronic Resources > Subject > review sidebar menu to see if there is a link to encyclopedias for that subject area


  • How to develop a research question
    • defining a do-able topic (with examples - narrowing & broadening focus)
    • don't know much about it ? Try using an encyclopedia to get some background first.
    • stuck for ideas ? See what others are writing about. Search an article database for your discipline.
  • Tips for searching library databases
    • you may wish to limit by language

  • additional tips for searching OskiCat

    • for materials about a topic...

      • search 2 or 3 terms representing key concepts of your focus
      • there isn't a search that finds everything: try different combinations of terms, synonyms, related terms
      • look at the records of relevant results -- do their subjects suggest other search terms?

        [important:  subject terms are defined by the Library of Congress, and not always what you would expect. Examine relevant results to discover how your topic, time period, location, people, etc. are defined subject-wise. Once you know this, you can use that terminology to search for other materials.]  

      • try adding terms for specific types of materials -- encyclopedias, biographies -- to your search, to locate those types of resources (see example, below)

        sample keyword searches...

        obsessive-compulsive disorder
        compulsive behavior

        france and history and class
        elizabethan and society
        elizabethan* and custom*
        kubrick and criticism
        eugene o'neill and biography
        gender and encyclopedias

    • author search

      ...for a person finds books by, interviews with, correspondence...
      [use the correct search syntax last name, first name]

      ...organization's name finds materials by an agency, government body...

    • limit by language - use modify search button
    • limit by material type - change default search of Entire Collection
      to seach by type -- Journals/Magazines/Newspapers, Films/Videos...
    • limit to location -- change default search of Entire Collection
      to a specific location -- 

      for example, a search for women and encyclopedias limited to Doe Reference

      [note: the above search can be a handy shortcut if you need to isolate reference materials on your topic.  Doe is the central campus location for reference materials in the arts, humanities & social sciences.]

    • search too broad ? -- use Modify button for limits
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Last Update: May 30, 2012 10:54