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Anthropology Research Guide

Julie Loy

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Julie Loy
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Planning your research

Choosing a Research Topic:

Find a research topic. Your teacher may assign you a topic or you can browse through Encyclopedias, your text book or popular magazines for ideas. If you're still stumped ask your teacher for some ideas.

Limit your topic so your research is manageable

Topic: Cultural festivals and rituals 

Ways to limit your topic:

  • Research  a specific culture's festivals or rituals 
  • How rituals (such as birthday parties or weddings) are celebrated in different cultures 

Write your topic as a sentence

 I would like to compare wedding customs between Christians and Muslims

Before you search your topic think of key words 

Compare

Wedding

Customs

Christian

Muslim

contrast

marriage

ceremony

Catholic

Islamic

evaluate

nuptials

ritual

Baptist

Sunni

examine

 

tradition

 

 








Boolean Logic
It's tempting to just plug your search topic (I would like to compare wedding customs between Christians and Muslims) into Google or article databases and see what comes up. But you get a much more accurate search by coming up with a search strategy. You don't have to use ALL the key words you come up with.

First apply Boolean Logic:

Image result for boolean operators

What broadens your search, what narrows it?

Using Boolean Operators write your search string:

(compare or contrast) and (marriage or weddings) and (customs or traditions) and (Christian or Catholic) and (Muslim or Islamic)

Best Online databases for Anthropology