AMER STD 191: American Studies Thesis Class - Palmer

Quick Links

1.  Read an introduction to the campus libraries for undergraduates.

2.  Set up your computer for off campus access to library databases.

3.  Need a map of the campus libraries?

4.  Each library has its own hours.  Click on the calendar for each library to view a month at a time.

5.  Information about Citing Your Sources and links to guides for frequently used  citation styles here.

 

Library Prize

The UCB Library sponsors the Library Prize for Undergraduate Research.  Win $1000 (upper division students) or $750 (lower division students) for your research paper!

This guide has been archived

Please note: this course guide was created during a previous semester, and is no longer being actively maintained. For a list of current course guides, please see http://lib.berkeley.edu/alacarte/course-guides.

Brainstorming Academic Disciplines

Example:

Topic:  Image of African American women in advertising

potentially relevant disciplines:

African American Studies
Gender and Women's Studies
Ethnic Studies
Media Studies
Psychology
Sociology
Business
etc.

 

Keywords

Developing appropriate keywords/search terms is an essential part of research.  First, break your topic into components.  Develop a list of synonyms and alternative terminology for each component.  Think about broader and narrower concepts and word variants.  What words can you exclude?

Topic: Image of African American Women in Advertising

Image(s) African American(s) Women Advertising/Advertisement(s)
Stereotyp* Black(s) Gender media
Depiction(s) minority/minorities    
Portrayal(s)      
(etc.)      

Remember to be creative with your terminology!  More examples:

people of color and environmental activism*
environmental justice
environmental justice and hazardous waste*
environmental equity
environmental discrimination
environmental racism
environmental injustice

 

Article Databases

Search an article database to find citations (title, author, title of journal, date, page numbers) for articles on a particular topic.  The Library gives you access to over 200 article databases covering different disciplines.

1.  Think about which academic disciplines might write about your topic.  Examples:  literature, film, anthropology, history...

2.  Find the appropriate article database by subject (academic discipline or department).  Look for "Recommended" databases.

Library home > Articles > Article Databases by Subject

Searching CSA Illumina Social Sciences

Sample searches in CSA Illumina Social Science databases:

Library home > Articles > Article Databases by Subject > Ethnic Studies > Sociology Abstracts:  click on the CSA Illumina Social Sciences link to search multiple social science databases

1.  Example of a search using multiple keywords, phrase searching, truncation,etc.

     proposition 209 (keywords)

keywords = searches most important parts of the record

add a term to narrow your search results

     admission*  (keywords)

* = truncation symbol or wildcard;  child* = child, childs, children, childish, childhood

another example using phrase searching (multiple words together in a row) 

   direct to consumer          (keywords)
     advertis*     
(keywords)    
     pharmaceut*
(keywords)

2.  using alternative terms:

     birth control or contraceptive* (keywords)
     advertis*
(keywords) 

3.  search using descriptors (official subject terms)

     homeless (keywords)
     pet*
(keywords)

     homeless (descriptor)
     pet    or pets    or animal* 
(keywords)

4. more examples:

     undocumented (keywords)
     student* (keywords)
     college* or universit* (keywords)

     california (keywords)
     initiative* (keywords)
     immigra* (keywords)

     california (keywords)
     ballot (keywords)
     immigra* (keywords)

     african american* or black* (de)
     infant mortalit* or maternal mortalit* (keywords)

 

Search Results

UC-eLinks

Once you've searched a database to find articles, you may need to use UC-eLinks orange logo to link to a PDF or html file if the full text is not immediately available. Each database isa bit different, but a good rule of thumb is this: when you see the Uc-eLinks icon click on it to view your article access options, which can range from full text to a call number to an Interlibrary Loan request:

UC e-Links image

For more information, here's a tutorial on using UC-eLinks.

Google Research Tools

Google Scholar is an easy way to do interdisciplinary research, and with some settings changes can become even more useful.  You need a Google account to use these features.

Do your search in Google Scholar. Look in the green toolbar for the envelope icon, and click it.  New items will be sent to your email account as they are found by Google.

Open Scholar.  Click on scholar preferences [upper right corner]. Under Library Links, enter the word Berkeley.  Choose up to three database providers we subscribe to: Full Text@IngentaConnect; UC eLinks; and Read article via OCLC.

Do a Google Scholar search. Click on the "Cited by" link under a citation and select the "Search within articles citing..." checkbox.

Citation Management Tools

Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles.  Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but any are easier than doing it by hand!

  1. Zotero: A free plug-in that works exclusively with the Firefox browser: keeps copies of what you find on the web, permits tagging, notation, full text searching of your library of resources, works with Word, and has a free web backup service.
  2. RefWorks - free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies. Use the RefWorks New User Form to sign up.
  3. EndNote: may be purchased from UC Berkeley's Software Central.

It's always good to double check the formatting -- sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.

Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat


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Getting Help

Other ways to get help:  in person, by e-mail, using specialized chat services

And of course:  e-mail Corliss!

Research Advisory Service

Research Advisory Service for Cal Undergraduates

Book a 30-minute appointment with a librarian who will help refine and focus research inquiries, identify useful online and print sources, and develop search strategies for humanities and social sciences topics (examples of research topics).

Schedule, view, edit or cancel your appointment online (CalNetID required)

This service is for Cal undergraduates only. Graduate students and faculty should contact the library liaison to their department or program for specialized reference consultations.

Corliss Wants Your Feedback!

Please take a few minutes to give me some feedback about the library workshop and this course page!  Anonymously, of course.

 

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