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ENGL 384 Quintana Wulf

Search strategy and experimentation with keywords

Create your search by combining your keywords using and, or, not.

    • And is used to narrow your search. Results returned will contain both sets of keywords.
    • Or is used to expand your search.  Results returned will return either keyword. 
    • Not will limit your search, and will exclude a keyword from the results. 


Article databases for author biographical information and some criticism of their works

In the database Academic Search Ultimate, let's try a broad-to-narrow keyword search strategy.

1. native americans = 37000+ results.

2. Add dispossessed =  12 results.

2.5 Try dispossess*

3. Try  Choctaw = 500

4. Add removal = 36

  • Limit to scholarly journals. Checkmark the Peer Reviewed box on the left side of your screen. Also see the attachment on the left side of your screen.
  • No link to "Full Text?" The Find It button searches for the full text article in our other databases.
  • See an item not owned by SU? Request it through InterLibrary Loan.

Clear your search. Let's use the OR operator.

1. (Native American OR American Indian)  = 49000+ results.

2. AND education= 6090 results

3. AND college = 825


Academic Search Complete is the world's most valuable and comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals. 
Provides abstracts and indexing for 2,650 general periodicals. Full text of articles for nearly 2,000 periodicals, and 5,000 full text Magill Book Reviews. 
This is a general interdisciplinary databases that covers many topics. It's not as complete as MLA (see above). JSTOR specializes in providing full text articles going back to the earliest issues of a journal. It has only scholarly journals, not popular magazines.

Library databases:
A-Z list and by subject

Your topic may concern subject areas such as education, health, history, etc. You may consider searching within databases that contain articles that were published in subject-specific journals.


For example, an awful lot of research has been done on the psychology of racism, for example, and this work can be found within our Psychology subject databases. 

Other handy subjects: Sociology, Education, Political Science, History, etc.

Contemporary works can take time to build up a substantive body of literary criticism. You will be much more likely to find biographical information about Jean Kwok, the author, rather than criticisms of her novel Girl in Translation. 

Let's search for "Jean Kwok" in the database Literature Resource Center. 

1. See the Content Types on the left side of your screen. Choose Biographical.

2. Depending on the work you are researching, you may get lucky and see "literature criticism" availalable here. 



Literature Resource Center

Literature Resource Center provides access to biographies, bibliographies, and critical analyses of authors from every age and literary discipline. Combining Gale Group's core literary databases in a single online service, the Literature Resource Center covers more than 120,000 novelists, poets, essayists, journalists, and other writers with in-depth coverage of 2,300 of the most studied authors.


MLA International Bibliography

Provides indexing of over 4,000 journals and series. Also indexes books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies. Includes links to full text of selected journal articles.


Humanities International Complete

A comprehensive database of humanities content, providing full text of hundreds of journals, books & other published sources from arount the world. This database includes data from American Humanities Index & Humanities International Index.


Oxford English Dictionary

Complete text of the 20-volume 2nd edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (1989), plus its 3-volume Additions Series (1993, 1997).