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What's in this guide

1. How to find scholarly sources (including videos).

2. Where to look for scholarly articles 

3. Cite with AAA

How much time should I take?

Manage your time using Assignment Tracker.


Keywords are the main ideas or concepts of your research question.

For this assignment, you can find your keywords in the course readings.

Brainstorm synonyms for these main ideas. 

You'll use these keywords for your searches.

Connecting keywords

AND - connect different ideas
e.g. Nationalism AND Canada

OR - connect synonyms or like terms
e.g. Canada OR Canadian

NOT - use sparingly!
e.g. social NOT economic

In Anthropology Plus, use wildcard * to get variations.
e.g. National* will return national, nationals, nationalism, nationalist

Search tips

Start your search broad (with fewer search terms) and then narrow it down.

Don't be discouraged! Your first search won't be perfect - you'll likely need several searches before you figure out a good combination of search terms. 

Remember to look beyond the first page of results. 

Citation chaining - Once you find one good, relevant article, you can easily find others by looking at the reference list at the end of the article. It can also help you to look at the development of a concept over time, figure out who the major researchers are, and find the "important" articles in an area of research. 

Trouble finding full text?

Look for PDF or  icons.

If you don't see those, or if   doesn't take you directly to the article, you'll need to do a little work.

1. Copy down the citation info.

2. Do a journal search using the name of the journal. Do we have coverage of that year? 

      If yes, navigate through the journal by looking for the volume, then issue numbers to find your article

      If no, submit an interlibrary loan request or ask at a library service desk.

Background Information - Political Anthropology

Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology  -  see under Political Anthropology (p.644-658 )  - extensive overview but also relevant material elsewhere in this encyclopedia

Credo Reference is a good source for locating encyclopedias in a wide variety of subject areas.

1. Find articles and books using library search

Start with a simple search to see what's available. Try searching Nationalism AND Canada in the library search box

You'll find books and articles that the library owns using this search. Use these materials to help you narrow down your topic.

If you're interested in the theories of a particular person, include their name in the search, e.g. Nationalism AND Canada AND Benedict Anderson

Once you have a manageable topic (Nationalism in Canada is too large!), move onto journal databases to find articles.

2. Find scholarly journal articles using databases

Here are some good databases for starting your search:


Anthropology:      Anthropology Plus

                          Annual Reviews (Anthropology) - provide extensive overviews of
                           the literature

History:               America: History and Life (features Canadian content despite name)
                          *Look at the Historical Period in the article description to help narrow
                           down to particular event/era

Political Science: Political Science Complete 

                           PAIS International

Consult list of databases by subject

Articles produced by think tanks

Think Tanks are research organizations that  produce papers on public policy.  These papers are often freely available. Note some of the publications may reflect bias of sponsoring organization.

Examples include:

Brookings Institute

Center for Strategic and International Studies

Institute of Development Studies

Rand Corporation

Wilson Center

See also publications produced by governmental agencies

3. Find newspaper articles and other primary sources

Newspapers can be a great primary source of information if you look at articles, editorials,
letters to the editors, advertisements and other
pieces created during an era or event (such as
World War I).

ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Globe and Mail (1844-2009)

ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Toronto Star (1894-2012) Historical Newspapers 

Use the publication date delimiter to limit to the years you are interested in - otherwise, you may end up looking through irrelevant results. >


Factiva - current worldwide coverage of various newspapers

Foreign Broadcast Information Service -  good for foreign press 1954-1996

4. Write, Edit and Cite


     Not sure how to get started? Take a look at Writing & Citing section of this guide 


The Student Success Centre has great online resources for structuring and organizing, grammar, and editing.   

Check out my simplified guide to AAA 


You should also check out the Department of Anthropology's Style Sheet for more department-specific requirements.

Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sources

Created by Suffolk County Community College Library, JMM, 06-2012.

Primary Sources - Anthropology

In addition to newspapers and ethnographic material the library also subscribes to a number of digital resources containing primary material including:

Early Canadiana Online  - books, articles, government publications produced the from time of the first settlers up to the 20th century

Early Encounters in North America  - letters,diaries and memoirs 

North American Women's Letters and Diaries

Oral History Online

Post War Europe: Refugees, Exile,  Resettlement , 1945-1950

Locating Films/Videos

Ethnographic Video Online

Films on Demand 

  • Keyword search or browse under Anthropology by sub-disciplines, including cultural and physical anthropology, and research methods/fieldwork


  • Keyword search or  browse by subject (no specific category for Anthropology, but Archaeology and related disciplines are there)

100 Incredible Anthropology Lectures Online

  • Blog post from 2010, but still pretty good list of videos


See Video section for more information

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