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CHS 261: Race, Racism and the Sciences

A survey of different schools of thought within the natural sciences with special attention to historical and contemporary debates around race and racism.

Forming a Search Strategy

Research is a process, and you will probably find yourself conducting several searches and revising your search terms as you read and learn more. To get started searching, you'll want to derive some keywords from your topic.

  1. Once you have chosen a topic, write it down in the form of a question or brief statement:
    • Policy makers and hospitals were motivated by eugenics when they carried out sterilization of immigrants.
  2. When you search, we went to focus on a really small number of keywords that are likely to be in relevant results:
    • "immigrants" and "sterilization"
  3. Think about related keywords that might come up
    • Articles discussing immigrants from Mexico may use terms like Latina, Hispanic, Chicano
  4. Formulate a search strategy using boolean search, wildcards, phrases, etc.
    • steriliz* AND immigra* AND Mexic*

If you find a good journal article, be sure to use their works cited! If you're reading a journal article about a historical event in Southern California, you may find references from the Los Angeles Times, which you could then look up in our Historical LA Times coverage:


Watch this video to learn how to navigate OneSearch to find materials available through the University Library.

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