Cultural Perspectives I

Course #: LL200

Choose keywords

  • Formulate a research question in order to focus your ideas about the topic. Please see our video tutorial on developing an effective research question
  • Write down the different concepts used in this question (“frankenstein” AND “film”)
  • For each concept, think of similar terms that you might also use (“film” OR “movies”)
  • TIP: Find additional clues for terms in the titles and abstracts of books and articles

Find books

  • Search Laurier’s Primo library catalogue for books on your topic. The default search is both books and articles so choose the “books” tab if you want to eliminate articles
  • You can start with broad keywords (e.g. “frankenstein”) and then narrow down your results by clicking on one of the “refine your results” links on the left-hand side of the screen
  • For example, you can click on the term “monsters in literature”
  • You can also limit your results to the Waterloo campus and/or books published within a specific time frame (e.g. works published after 1999)
  • TIP: For additional books on a topic, click on the title of a book that looks pertinent, and then click on the subject link(s) for that book (under “details”)

Find articles

Find primary sources

  • Click on the advanced search link. Type in keywords that represent different aspects of your topic (each term in a different box). In a separate box, type the term that is most appropriate: “sources,” “correspondence,” “documents,” “diaries,” “interviews,” or “speeches.” Change the drop-down option from “any” to “in the subject”
  • Visit News Archives Online for links to our historical newspapers. You can find news articles about European culture from:
  • The library also owns digitized resources via online databases. See the tab to primary sources in the History subject guide
  • Type the name of a historical figure (e.g. Hitler) into our library catalogue, and change the drop-down option from “full record” to “author” in order to find anything written by this person

Too many search results?

  • If you get too many search results, use narrower search terms (e.g. “silent films” instead of “films”)
  • Try adding more concepts to your search. Adding more terms that are linked by “AND” will decrease your number of search results

Too few search results?

  • Think in terms of broader categories (“films” rather than “silent films”)
  • Add alternate terms for each concept (“films” OR “movies”). Adding more terms that are linked by “OR” will increase your number of search results
  • TIP: Look at the bibliographies of the most pertinent books and articles on your topic. One author can lead you to others in the field

Need assistance with writing the paper?

Create the bibliography

Need help with research?

  • Don’t hesitate to contact me (Pauline Dewan); I am here to help you.
  • Email pdewan@wlu.ca. I can email or call you back
  • Call 519 756-8228 ext 5529. (If you are on campus, just dial 5529)
  • Visit the information desk at the Waterloo library (just inside the front door)
  • Instant message us by clicking on “Ask Us” (from the homepage of the Laurier Library)

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