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Chicana/o Studies Research Guide

Welcome to Your Research Guide!

Welcome to the research guide for Professor Tapia's Chicana/o Studies 3 Honors class!

Jot down this link to get back to this page:

Recommended Databases for Your Research

Use the following databases to find popular and scholarly articles on your topic:

Use these databases to find e-books and print books on your research topic:

Use the following databases to find background information and/or primary sources:

Distinguishing Between "Popular" and "Scholarly" Sources

Here are some clues to look for when trying to determine whether an article is from a popular newspaper or magazine, or a scholarly journal:

Scholarly journal articles generally have the following characteristics:

  • authors are subject experts or researchers
  • articles are usually long and written with subject-specific or technical language
  • articles often include charts, graphs, or statistics
  • topic targets a specific audience; usually other scholars in the field
  • sources are cited in footnotes or lengthy bibliographies
  • articles report on a study, research, or experimentation
  • before chosen to publish, articles are peer-reviewed by an editorial board or other scholars in the field
  • journals are published by a professional organization

Popular magazine or newspaper articles generally have the following characteristics:

  • authors are journalists or reporters
  • articles range from a paragraph (news blurb) to a few pages (magazine editorial)
  • topic and language targets a general, wide-ranging audience 
  • sources may be referenced, but often not cited
  • articles are on current events or popular topics

Recommended Search Strategies

Database Search Tips

Library databases do not search the same way Google does. With databases, you must type in keywords (not entire phrases or questions) in order to retrieve relevant results. You may have to try multiple searches.

Be flexible; if one keyword isn't working for you, try another! Here are some examples:

Sample search formula:

(demographic OR synonym) AND (topic OR synonym) 

Example search in EBSCO:

keyword search in ebsco

How to search using boolean operators graphic

(Graphic taken from Mississipi College Leland Speed Library Research 101 Guide.)

wildcard and phrase search example

Wildcard/Truncation Searching: Use the "*" symbol to search multiple forms of a word. For example, Latin* will retrieve results for Latin, Latino, Latina, Latinos, Latinas. You can also use the star within a word. For example, wom*n will retrieve woman and women. 

Phrase Searching: Use quotes to search an exact phrase, and to keep the database from searching words individually. For example, "dream act" will retrieve results that mention those words specifically in that order only. Without quotes, you may find results for dream state, or act of God, since it will search the words individually. Phrase searching works best with names: names of people, locations, events, or things.

Suggested Websites for Statistics