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ENGL1010, McBride

This guide covers everything discussed in your library session.

Let's practice

As a full class, let's use this example of a possible research thesis to get some practice identify key concepts and terms to use in an information search:

Many people do not know who James P. Johnson is and those who do more often know of Johnson as a jazz pianist, not as a classical music composer and performer. This limited understanding of the full breadth of Johnson's skill and talent persists today due to fundamentally biased cultural expectations about race, time, and musical genres.

What the key concepts in this statement?


What other words can you use to get at those concepts?

More Ways to Build Your Keyword List

Searching for information and research materials is iterative - as you learn about your topic and develop your scholarly vocabulary about it you'll have more keywords to use in your hunt for information.

While it may take a few tries to break through at first, here's an easy way to build that vocabulary once you get a results list with a few promising resources.

When you've found a solid book or article, scan the subjects, table of contents, and descriptions or abstracts. The image below is an example of a book in our catalog. In this record, you can find three ways to say essentially the same thing: American Indian, indigenous, and native. Perhaps you know of another phrase that is more commonly used in Canada but appears from time to time in the U.S. arena as well.

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