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Racial and Ethnic Political Behavior (Course Number: 32-304-03): Find an Article

This guide is designed to help you locate library resources for Dr. Huang's fall 2012 Racial and Ethnic Political Behavior class.

Did You Know

The SU Library offers subject specific databases to find current articles.  If you know which database you want to use go to Databases A-Z.  If you need help deciding which database to use, go to Databases by Subject.

Searching Databases

When looking for articles in databases the key is determine the appropriate search terms for your topic.  In many databases articles are organized by subject terms that are determined by the journal and author(s) of the article.  For this course there are quite a few subject terms that are useful.  One of the best things you can do is include "political aspects" as a subject term in your search.   Below is a picture that shows you how to change the field to subject terms. 

The first example is from the main search page for Political Science Complete.  This is an EBSCO database, so the format might be familiar to you because this is the same platform for Academic Search Complete (another useful source for your research).  The asterick (*) after the letters "ethnic" trucates the word and looks for all forms of the word, so this search includes ethnic, ethnicity, and ethnicities.

After you find an article you like, identify the subject terms listed - this is a great way to get to similar articles.  Almost all of these subject terms are relevant to this class, but a few ones that are really useful are pointed out.  Keep in mind that the more subject terms you include in your search, the more narrow your results.  This is a great way to go from 1,000 articles to a handful, but including too many subject terms can severely limit your search and might keep you from finding great sources.  A few of the major subject terms you might include are:


African Americans--Political Activity
Latin Americans--Political Activity
Asian Americans--Political Activity
Minorities--Political Activity
Race -- Political Aspects
Ethnicity -- Political Aspects
Race Relations -- Political Aspects
Race & Politics
African Americans
Asian Americans
Hispanic Americans
Whites

*Note that "political aspects" is included in many of these subject terms, so you can include just "political aspects" without narrowing it down (e.g. race, ethnicity, et cetera) and this will expand your search, but still keep it focused to the aim of this course.   

While these steps will work for most EBSCO databases, other databases are different.  However, the general idea of identifying the subject terms for your topic are transferable skills.  If you find a database or journal perfect for your area of study browse around a bit to see if you can find the subject terms most suitable. 

Finally, make sure you are using scholarly sources.  In ACS check the "Scholarly/Peer Reviewed Journals" box on the main search page, or refine your results by selecting "Academic Journals" to the left of your search results.  Other databases may only contain scholarly journals or their process of limiting to scholarly sources might be slightly different.  Remember, do not hesitate to contact a librarian for research help!