On this page
- Define your topic.
- Look for background information, such as Encyclopedias, Biographical, Chronologies, Guides to First Nations Research.
- 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.
- Brainstorm keywords for each concept in your topic to use for searching for information.
- Use the Library Catalogue to find books and use "subject lists" of Journal Article Databases to find articles.
- Evaluate your resources.
- Note key authors and works that may lead you to further sources.
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.
- Encyclopedia of feminist theories
- Encyclopedia of sex and gender
- Handbook of research on women's issues and rights in the developing world
- Oxford handbook of transnational feminist movements
- Sage Knowledge Database
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
- Women's Studies International -- Start with this database and then search other databases.
- Academic Search Premier -- (multidisciplinary) covers many GSWS journals in full text.Limit your search results to "Academic" or "Scholarly" sources.
- CBCA Complete -- Canadian Business & Current Affairs (CBCA) Complete. Limit your search results to "Academic" or "Scholarly" sources.
- Canadian Electronic Library from desLibris - full text of public policy documents
How to use the Library Catalogue [guide]
For known items it is best to check using "Browse by title" icon.
(women OR gender OR gay OR queer OR transgender) AND (job OR employ* OR work) AND canad*
Results limited by Subject and Recourse type
- (suffrage* OR voting OR women's rights) AND canad*
- Results limited by Subject
(immigr* OR "visible minor*" OR "women of color" OR race OR ethnic*) AND women AND canad*
Results limited by Subject
(aborig* OR native* OR indian* OR indigen* OR metis OR inuit) AND women AND canad*
(prostitut* OR "sex trade" OR "sex work*") AND (legal* OR decriminal* OR criminal*)
(sexualit* OR mascuilin* OR feminit*) AND (theor* OR debat* OR issue*)
Results limited by Subject
Browse by "subject"
- Name of specific person (feminist) for biographical and critical material about that person.
- Feminism - name of country/geographic region
- Suffrage - Canada
- Feminism -- International cooperation (for global and transnational feminism)
- Women - name of country/geographic region - issue (e.g. employment, social conditions)
- Name of a specific group of people/women
- Subject terms for gender / sexuality studies
- Gay Liberation Movement Canada
- Gay Rights -- Canada
- Gay Rights United States
- Gender identity
- Queer Theory
- Transsexual Men
- Transgender People
- Sex change
- Transsexuals -- Civil rights
- Transsexuals -- Legal status, laws, etc.
- Library Archives Canada - Celebrating Women's Achievement
- The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Status of Women
- Feminist Theory Website - "provides research materials" - fields within feminism; national and ethnic feminisms; Individual feminists
- Women's Studies / Issues Resource Sites - by Professor Joan Korenman
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
- Start your research here: an overview of the research process [guide]
- Library Research Skills [interactive tutorial]
- Developing a topic [video]
- What is a scholarly journal? [guide]
- Library Catalogue search guide
- Finding articles: Advanced search techniques [video]
- Evaluating sources
- Moving from citation to article: Find the full text of an article from the article citation [guide]
- Search tips for Google and Google Scholar
- Understanding and avoiding plagiarism [interactive tutorial]
- Where can I get this? Citation finder [tool]
- More Tutorials