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University of Texas Libraries
Celebrating the Life
 
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:

feminist poetry as witness

Key Concepts

feministpoetry

witness

Related Keywords

feminis*
wom*
gender*
antirac*

poet*
writing*
author*
stanza*

witness*
trauma*
memoir*

  • Try this keyword tool to brainstorm online and send the results to yourself.

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.
Learn about concepts, vocabulary, and events related to your texts.
Find keywords to search in subject-specific databases.

Here are some good places to start:
Find Articles
1. I've created a personalized research guide for each of your topics. Take a look at yours below for a list of suggested related fields and their database lists as well as a few databases relevant to your research.

2. Think about which fields might discuss your issues. Check out the Research Guides the librarians have created for those fields: www.lib.utexas.edu > Research Tools > Research by Subject > Use the RG buttons

3. The databases listed below include resources for general humanities and social sciences research questions:

Find Books
Start here:  www.lib.utexas.edu > Research Tools > Library Catalog

Find Books on a Topic:
  • To find books on your topic, start with a keyword search in the Catalog. Use the search tips at the bottom of the Advanced Search page.
  • To find background information and collected essays on your topic, add keyword search terms including "bibliography," "critical," and "encyclopedia."
  • When you find a useful book, look at the Subject Headings in the record and use those as keyword searches to find more books addressing similar topics.

Where are the books?

Watch the "How to Find Books" Video Tutorial in the sidebar for directions on getting from the catalog record to the book on the shelf.

And one more tool:
GoogleBooksSearch inside hundreds of thousands of books for your topic, just as you would search Google. If you find an excerpt from a book that might be useful, check the Library Catalog to see if we have it.
Where Is the Full Text?
Found a citation and can't find the full text? Here's how:
  1. Does the Catalog or database record you have found include full text? (Look for an HTML or PDF link.)
     
  2. If not, does the record have a button?
    • If yes, click the button to see if we have access to the electronic or print versions.
    • If not, copy the title of the journal or book (not the article or chapter) and use the Library Catalog title search.
       
  3. Can't find the text in electronic or print library material? Ask for help or request it through InterLibrary Services.
Is it Scholarly?
Use this decision tree and grid to help determine if your source is scholarly:
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.
Ace of Spades
Sit-com about honors students at a public university

Take a look at Research Guides in these and other subject areas:
(Hint: Look at the reference tools the librarian suggests in their research guide to learn more about your topic and find new keywords.)
Creative Writing
History
Radio-Television-Film

These databases address facets of your topic:
America: History and Life
American Film Scripts Online
LexisNexis Academic (includes Daily Texan coverage 1997-present)

Art and Literature as a Form of Protest
Art and Literature as a Form of Protest in the Middle East

Take a look at Research Guides in these and other subject areas:
(Hint: Look at the reference tools the librarian suggests in their research guide to learn more about your topic and find new keywords.)
Middle Eastern Studies
Art & Art History
English Literature

These databases address facets of your topic:
Art Source
Historical Abstracts
MLA International Bibliography (Literary Scholarship)

College Major Choice of First Generation
College Major Choice of First Generation College Students

Take a look at Research Guides in these and other subject areas:
(Hint: Look at the reference tools the librarian suggests in their research guide to learn more about your topic and find new keywords.)
American Studies
Education
Social Work

These databases address facets of your topic:
ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
Education Source
PsycINFO
Cultural, Environmental, & Economic Aspects
Cultural, Environmental, & Economic Aspects of Small Farms in 21st Century Texas

Take a look at Research Guides in these and other subject areas:
(Hint: Look at the reference tools the librarian suggests in their research guide to learn more about your topic and find new keywords.)
Business
Geology
History

These databases and reference tools may address facets of your topic:
AGRICOLA
America: History & Life
LexisNexis Academic (newspaper coverage)
Business Source Complete
Data Theft
Data Theft: Analyzing Sony Mangement's Failures in Addressing Information Breaches

Take a look at Research Guides in these and other subject areas:
(Hint: Look at the reference tools the librarian suggests in their research guide to learn more about your topic and find new keywords.)
Business
Communication
Library & Information Science

These databases address facets of your topic:
Business Source Complete
Information Science & Technology Abstracts
LexisNexis Academic

Efficacy of Genome-Wide Association
Efficacy of Genome-Wide Association Studies in Mental Illness Research

Take a look at Research Guides in these and other subject areas:
(Hint: Look at the reference tools the librarian suggests in their research guide to learn more about your topic and find new keywords.)
Medicine
Psychology

These databases address facets of your topic:
CINHAL
PsycINFO
PubMed
Web of Science
Environmental Changes
Environmental Changes that Contribute to Dialect Formation

Take a look at Research Guides in these and other subject areas:
(Hint: Look at the reference tools the librarian suggests in their research guide to learn more about your topic and find new keywords.)
Anthropology
Linguistics
Psychology

These databases address facets of your topic:
Anthropology Plus
LLBA: Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts
PsycINFO
Future of Texas Cities
Future of Texas Cities: Trends in Urban Development in Texas

Take a look at Research Guides in these and other subject areas:
(Hint: Look at the reference tools the librarian suggests in their research guide to learn more about your topic and find new keywords.)
Business
Architecture & Planning
History
Texas and Texas Documents

These databases address facets of your topic:
America: History & Life
Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals
Business Source Complete
Texas Reference Center
Gweilo
Gweilo: How Screenplays Can Help Analyze and Reconstruct Personal Identity

Take a look at Research Guides in these and other subject areas:
(Hint: Look at the reference tools the librarian suggests in their research guide to learn more about your topic and find new keywords.)
Psychology
Radio-Television-Film
English Literature

These databases address facets of your topic:
American Film Scripts Online

MLA International Bibliography (Literary  & cultural studies scholarship)
PsycINFO
How the Legal System in Texas Fails
How the Legal System in Texas Fails Victims of Human Trafficking

Take a look at Research Guides in these and other subject areas:
(Hint: Look at the reference tools the librarian suggests in their research guide to learn more about your topic and find new keywords.)
History
Social Work
Women's & Gender Studies/LGBTQ/Sexualities Studies

These databases address facets of your topic:
Alt-Press Watch
America: History and Life
Gender Studies Database
LexisNexis Academic
Social Services Abstracts
Sociological Abstracts
Humanities as a Vessel and Vehicle

Humanities as a Vessel and Vehicle for Social Mobility

Take a look at Research Guides in these and other subject areas:
(Hint: Look at the reference tools the librarian suggests in their research guide to learn more about your topic and find new keywords.)
Business
English Literature
Philosophy
Sociology

These databases address facets of your topic:
America: History & Life
Business Source Complete
LexisNexis Academic
MLA International Bibliography (Literary & Cultural Studies Scholarship)
Philosopher's Index

Hybridized Tiles
Hybridized Tiles: An Original Collection by Ronit Joselevitz

Take a look at Research Guides in these and other subject areas:
(Hint: Look at the reference tools the librarian suggests in their research guide to learn more about your topic and find new keywords.)
History
Textiles & Apparel

American Studies

These databases address facets of your topic:
America: History and Life
Daily Life through History
Vogue Archive
Women's Wear Daily Archive
Improving Engagement with Technology
Improving Engagement with Technology in K-12 STEM Classrooms

Take a look at Research Guides in these and other subject areas:
(Hint: Look at the reference tools the librarian suggests in their research guide to learn more about your topic and find new keywords.)
Education
Women's & Gender Studies/LGBTQ/Sexualities Studies
American Studies

These databases address facets of your topic:
ERIC 
(Education Resources Information Center)
Education Source

Information Science & Technology Abstracts
LexisNexis Academic (newspaper coverage)
Non-Violence
Non-Violence as a Way to Create Radical Social Change

Take a look at Research Guides in these and other subject areas:
(Hint: Look at the reference tools the librarian suggests in their research guide to learn more about your topic and find new keywords.)
Asian American Studies

African American Studies

History
Women's & Gender Studies/LGBTQ/Sexualities Studies

These databases address facets of your topic:
Alt-Press Watch
Bibliography of Asian Studies
Bibliography of Native North Americans
Chicano Database

Gender Studies Database

International Index to Black Periodicals