Cultural Perspectives II

Course #: LL201

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 (“Hitler” AND “Stalin” AND “dictators”)
  • For each concept, think of similar terms that you might also use (“dictators” OR “dictatorship” OR “autocrats”)
  • TIP: Find additional clues for terms in the titles and abstracts of books and articles
  • Locating the right combination of keywords takes time. You will need to go back and forth, revising the terms as you examine your search results
  • View our video tutorial on using keywords effectively

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. “dictators”) 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 “World War, 1939-1945”
  • 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”)
  • TIP: You can also order a book or a photocopy of an article from another library. You can learn more in our video tutorial on requesting materials from other libraries. It will be sent to the Waterloo campus at no cost and you will be notified by email when it arrives

Find eBooks

  • Laurier's eBooks are just as scholarly as our print books
  • They are available 24/7 from anywhere with an Internet connection
  • Some of our ebooks can be downloaded and read on mobile devices (but not on the Kindle). If a book is downloadable, it will have a download link
  • View a video tutorial on finding eBooks

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

Find articles

Too many search results?

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

Too few search results?

  • Think in terms of broader categories (“dictators” rather than “Stalin”)
  • Add alternate terms for each concept (“despotism” OR “tyranny” OR “absolutism”). 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 often lead you to others in the field

Use Google Scholar to find Laurier Library articles

To make the most effective use of Google Scholar:

  • Click on the wheel icon (settings); click on “Scholar Preferences” and scroll down to “Library Links.” Type the word “Laurier”; check the link to Wilfrid Laurier University and save preferences
  • Look for the “Get it @ Laurier” link beside articles that the library owns
  • Use the advanced search option for more targeted searching
  • If you find too many irrelevant resources, change the drop-down option from “anywhere in the article” to “in the title of the article”
  • If the article is not free, click on the link to other versions of it (just below the description of the article). One of the versions may be freely available
  • To find key authors on your topic check the “cited by” link
  • If the article is dated, click on the “cited by” link for more recent articles on the same topic

Need assistance with writing the paper?

  • Book an appointment with the Writing Centre at Laurier's Centre for Student Success
  • Visit the Centre for Student Success website for handouts on such topics as writing a strong thesis statement, constructing an argument, or writing an effective conclusion

Create the bibliography

Need help with research?

  • Don’t hesitate to contact me (Pauline Dewan); I am here to help you. For additional information, see my contact page.
  • 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 library (just inside the front door)
  • Instant message us by clicking on “Ask Us” (from the homepage of the Laurier Library)

Please note: The Library is committed to providing programs, events and services that are accessible to all. Please contact us if you require accommodation due to a disability.