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Brainstorm and Use Keywords
1. Save time, prepare to research!
  • Break your research question into key concepts (you'll connect these in your paper to make an original argument).
  • For each of these concepts, brainstorm multiple keywords.

Sample Topic:


women's (bodies) as other in the Bible

Key Concepts





Related Keywords






2. Combine keywords using AND and OR:
  • Too many results? Narrow using AND. Ex: Decameron AND women
  • Too few results? Broaden using OR. Ex: Decameron AND (wom* OR female* OR gender*)
  • Put parentheses around synonyms.
  • The asterisk finds multiple endings. Ex: wom* will bring back women, woman's, wombat, etc.

3. Brush up on the search tools available:
Find Background Information
Background Information can save you time by giving you an overview of your topic, and frequently provide key resources at the bottom of articles.
- Learn about concepts, key resources (bibliographies), vocabulary, and events related to your texts.
- Find keywords to search in subject-specific databases.

Here are some good places to start:
Find Articles, Books, Chapters, Reviews, &...
1.  For a thorough list of online literary scholarship tools & primary texts at UT, take a look at the catalog, indexes, & databases on the English Literature Research Guide, including:

2.  What other fields relate to your research question? Check out other Research Guides by Subject for useful databases and tips.
www.lib.utexas.edu > Research Tools > Research by Subject
Read the "About" pages connected to the databases.
Some subjects list "Top Databases" (at right of Databases by Subject lists)
Some samples:

Tip: Ebsco database?  Cross-search with other Ebsco databases by using the "Choose Databases" feature at the top of any Ebsco subject specific database.

Where's my article?
  •  Where is the article?  If the article or book isn't full text in the database you are searching, click Find it at UT to find it in another database or in print in the Libraries. 
    Tip: If the "Find it" button shows we don't own, try "Search the catalog" button.
  • Still not found?   use the  button and we'll email the article to you (this option takes a few days, at least).
  • You can also get books we don't own through interlibrary services - http://www.lib.utexas.edu/services/ils/.
Evaluate Articles & Books
Try these grids and decision trees:
Write & Cite
Cite Your Sources:  A grid to help you choose the right citation tool and help using them.  Includes information about NoodleBib, which helps you format APA, MLA and Chicago style bibliographies you can download as Word documents and turn in.

Undergraduate Writing Center:  Drop in or make an appointment to visit with a trained writing consultant.
Get Help
Contact the course librarian:

Shiela Winchester
Archaeology, Classics, English Literature, Germanic Studies, Philosophy and Religious Studies Librarian
English Literature Research Guide

IM a Librarian
Monday-Thursday, 10am - midnight
Friday, 10am - 4pm
Sunday, 6pm - midnight
Build Your Research Skills
Need to build your research skills? Check out the UT Libraries resources for undergraduates.
www.lib.utexas.edu > Resources for You > Undergraduates

Find text and videos to help you when you need to:
Find Background Information
Generate Keywords
Find Articles
Find Books
& More
Find Books Video Tutorial
Find Articles Video Tutorial