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Ethnic Literature Course Guide (Lisa Heise)

Links to the readings and other information to complete homework and other assignments in this class.

Create a List of Search Terms (and Alternates) for Your Topic

How do I know what words to enter into the database's Search Box?

You may be assigned a topic to research or you may be asked to choose your own. Your topic will be your starting point in choosing search terms.note-taking icon

  • Types of search terms: 
    • keywords - a general list words related to your topic.
    • subject searches - words listed or bolded database lists
      • nouns - the names of something or someone -- people, things, places
        •  example - nouns for a topic in psychology: "depression,"  "bipolar disorder," "schizophrenia."
  • Make a list of main search terms 
  • Create a list of alternate search termssynonyms (different words that mean the same thing)
    • WHY? Different authors will use different terms that mean the same thing so If you can't find enough information using one search term, another
    • Consult a Thesaurus to find related or alternative words or synonyms.  

Search Terms for Ethnic Literature Studies

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Reminder: Create a list of terms to use in your searches. Include related or alternative words. If one term yields poor results, try another.

Basic Search Terms and Strategies - Single Word or Phrase

Examples

 

 

  • culture - cultural, "cultural group," "cultural assimilation," "cultural encounters,"
  • multicultural -   multiculturalism
    • African-American - Black, Afro-Caribbean
    • Asian-American - Anglo Asian
    • Latino - Latina, Latine, Latinx
    • Native American - Native, Indigenous, American Indian
  • ethnic - ethnicity,  multi-ethnic, "ethnic identity," "ethnic history"
  • identity -  "cultural identity," "ethnic identity," "racial identity," "identity politics"
  • race -  racial, "racial history"
  • ideology - ideological
  • fiction - novel, novella, short story
  • literature - literary, lit, "literary movement," "rhetorical movement"
  • poetry - poem, poet
  • author - novelist, poet, writer, audience, reader
  • gender - CIS, LBGTQA, "gender norms," non-binary
  • nationality - nationalism, nationalistic
  • intersectional - intersectionality

 

Advanced Search Strategies - Combining Words and Phrases

Boolean Searching (AND, OR, NOT)

  • politics AND race
  • "ethnic identity" AND literature
  • (African-American OR Black) AND (authors OR poets)

Truncation *

Use the root of a word and add an asterisk * to search for all variants of the root word.

  • nation* - nations, national, nationalistic, nationalism, etc.