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ETHN/SOC 207 (Williams) SU 22

Video Tutorials

Before Searching

Consider your research topic, and write down several keywords that describe the various aspects of your topic.

***The wording of the Heritage Guide you select may change outside of MiraCosta College. For instance, Latinx & Chicanx Heritage Month may also be called Hispanic Heritage Month or Latinx Heritage Month.***

  • Keep your keywords brief and concise.
  • Spelling counts but capitalization doesn't. Make sure you don't misspell your keywords.
  • Use "quotation marks" to keep words together in a specific order. 
    • Example: "black history month"
  • Use OR to find either set of keywords

    • Example 1: "latinx heritage month" OR "hispanic heritage month" 

    • Example 2: "indigenous americans" OR "native americans"

  • Grow your keyword list with words you read in abstracts, article titles, and subject headings

Keep in mind that database searching is not an exact science and you'll need to experiment with different combinations of keywords to get the best results.


Scholarly (Academic or Peer-Reviewed) Articles are:

  • written by experts in a field who present in-depth original research (a scientist's new data, results, and theories),
  • have been reviewed by other scholars in the field for scholastic standards and validity,
  • typically have the following sections: Abstract, Introduction (with Literature Review), Methods, Results, and Discussion, 
  • published in a scholarly journal,
  • use technical language, 
  • use many in-text citations,
  • include a lengthy reference page,
  • often include tables, charts, and graphs.

Many articles published in scholarly/academic journals are review articles, which do not report new findings but review books or known data. These articles are not considered scholarly. Double-check that the source you select is indeed a scholarly article and NOT a review. 

Recommended SOC 207 Databases (SURF ID & Password needed for off campus access)

Gale Ebooks

Reference database containing eBooks, encyclopedias, and specialized sources for research in almost all subjects

EBSCOhost : All Databases

Cross-search all EBSCO databases (over 30); magazines, journals, news and primary sources, and media, covering multi-disciplinary topics.


Full-text archives of 1400 scholarly journals in the arts, humanities, social sciences and sciences.

Academic OneFile

Academic OneFile from Gale (Cengage Learning) is a comprehensive periodical database with peer-reviewed journal articles for any research topic.