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HIST 133 African American History to 1865 DuBose-Simons: Database Searching

What is a Databse?

Databases are electronic catalogs that contain published information in the form of citations, abstracts, or the full text of documents. These documents can be from magazines, newspapers, scholarly, academic journals, ebooks, book chapters or essays. Some databases cover multiple subjects, while others are specific to a certain field. They are indexed by subject terms or keywords for easy retrieval.

Develop a Search Strategy

Use keywords and synonyms:

  • Start by taking keywords directly from your thesis statement.
  • Use synonyms and related concepts by thinking of other words that mean the same thing as the keywords in your question.
  • Look at the subject terms in your search results and see if you can use any of those.

  Use truncation:

You can broaden your search results by typing an asterisk symbol  *  at end of the root of a word. When you do this, the computer will search for alternative endings for the word you have typed.

For example ​compet* yields results for: 

        ​compete     competed     competes     competition     competitive    

Build a Search Strategy with your Keywords

Search Strategy Builder - An online tool from the University of Arizona that will help you organize your keywords into a search strategy

Recommended Databases

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