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GSWS 101 -- Gender Talk

Contact info

For Library research help, please contact Moninder Lalli, Librarian for Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies by email () or Ask a librarian.

    Research process

    1. Define your topic.
    2. Look for background information, such as Encyclopedias, Biographical, Chronologies, Guides to First Nations Research.
    3. Based on your preliminary research, formulate a research question that you intend to address through more comprehensive research. You will ultimately address this research question in your thesis.
    4. Brainstorm keywords for each concept in your topic to use for searching for information.
    5. Use the Library Catalogue to find books and use "subject lists" of Journal Article Databases to find articles.
    6. Evaluate your resources.
    7. Note key authors and works that may lead you to further sources.

    Start Your Research Here

    Selected encyclopedias

    To obtain an overview of a topic, definitions, and to identify key authors and ideas, start with searching encyclopedias and handbooks.  The articles will provide bibliographies at the end of the articles which can lead you to useful books and journal articles.

    For more, see Background sources

    Create search strategies

    Write down your research question in the form of a sentence and then highlight the keywords which identify the main concepts. 
    Write down synonyms or related terms for each of the highlighted concept words. 


      How have employment practices been changed by the ideas of gender identity?

    • employment (jobs, work, inclusive workplace, employers, employees, jobs)
    • gender identity (gay, queer, transgender, masculinity, femininity, etc.)

    (job OR jobs OR employ* OR work OR "inclusive workplace*")


    (women OR gender OR gay OR queer OR transgender)



    Find journal articles

    For more, try:  Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies databases
    Guide: How to find journal articles


    How to use the Library Catalogue  [guide]

    Search by topic, using Basic or Advanced Search

    For known items it is best to check using "Browse by title" icon.

    Catalogue Search:Basic or Advanced Search

    Browse by "subject"

    Use the Browse Search option in the SFU Library Catalogue.  Select "Subject" (drop-down menu), and enter term.


    Search tips for Google and Google Scholar

    Search tips & techniques

    • Use "or" to combine same concept; Use "and" to combine different concepts.
    • When you have only one line search box, then put braces around your synonyms

    (____________ or __________) AND (__________ or ________)

    • Use an asterisk (*) the truncation symbol, for variation on endings of words

    entrepreneur* --> to find: entrepreneur, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship

    • Use "quotation marks" to search for an exact phrase
    • Alternate spellings: use American & Canadian spellings (labour or labor)
    • Use abbreviations and full words (TV or television)
    • Geographic concepts: ( Vancouver or BC or British Columbia or Canada or North America)
    • Alternate terms: Subject headings or Descriptors or Thesauri words. Use words from the database thesaurus (if available) to increase relevancy.
    • Library guide: Search tips for Google and Google Scholar
    • Search in titles: Use intitle: to force Google to find those words in the titles of results (MUCH more specific results)

    intitle:airport intitle:security “full body” (ethics OR rights)

    • Searching within a specific site or domain: Use site: to specify results from a particular web site or top-level domain

      “Airport security” “full body scans” site:gov

    Library research guides