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HIST 076: Women's Work in Premodern China (SC): Finding Secondary Sources: Articles & Book Reviews

History 076: Women's Work in Premodern China (Chen) - Fall 2013

Search Tips

  • Use the * to search for variations on your search term.

    Example: Chin* will search for China and Chinese

    Works in: JSTOR, Historical Abstracts

  • Use double quotes "like this" to only search for a specific phrase. Example: "Song Dynasty"

  • Rather than entering keywords that you think describe the topic, try to think about which words would be included in a scholarly article written on your topic and use those as your search terms.

  • To find results that are more directly relevant to your topic, try limiting your search to just words in the abstract (summary) or title.

Choosing Search Terms

Choose search terms that you expect to find in written documents about your topic. 

If you're looking for secondary sources (including journal articles or books written by scholars), use the language you would expect to find in a scholarly publication. 

If you're looking for sources aimed at the public (newspapers, TV news transcripts, blogs), use more colloquial language when searching.

Here are some other ideas to consider:

  • Synonyms, technical terms
  • Transliterations and alternate spellings
  • Alternate or historical place names (e.g. Bombay / Mumbai)
  • Maiden names
  • Initials and full names
  • British spellings
  • Spellings and terms in use during the time period or in the region/country
  • Abbreviations vs. full words

Once you have found a few sources on your topic, take note of the language that is being used and incorporate it into your search.

Databases for Finding Journal Articles