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ANTH 204 Intro to Social Science Research Methods in Anthropology

Explore Your Topic

Spend a few minutes thinking about your topic 

  • List important vocabulary related to your topic. Consider the 5 W's - who, what, where, when, why
  • List people or groups impacted by your topic.
  • Make a list of questions (large or small) that you’d like to address through your research. 


Brainstorm keywords for your search

1. Identify the main concepts of your research question

How does clothing impact the economy of Asian countries? 

2. Brainstorm synonyms or related terms for your main concepts

How does (clothing OR dress OR apparel OR textiles OR fashion) impact the (economy OR economics OR money) of (Asian OR Asia OR "South-East Asia") countries? 

Research Tip: How to Narrow Your Search

  • Combine concepts with AND to find more relevant sources
    • picasso AND Africa
    • internet AND privacy
    • bedrock AND Massachusetts AND hydrology
  • Use “quotation marks” to find exact phrases
    • "rock art"
    • “African diaspora”
    • “invertible matrix”

Research Tip: How to Broaden Your Search

  • Use ORs and parentheses to combine synonyms or related terms
    • (oil OR petroleum OR crude)
    • (antibiotic OR antiviral)
    • (woman OR girl OR female)
  • Truncate roots of important words to find plurals and more
    • perform* (searches for perform, performance, performativity, etc.)
    • cell$
    • pregnan!
  • Insert a wild card symbol to catch words with different spellings
    • wom?n
    • coloni#ation
    • colo$r

*Truncation and wild cards work differently in different databases. Check the help section of the database to learn what symbol to use and how to properly use it.

Put it All Together