WRIT 1302 (Diepenbrock): Composition II: Find Journal Articles

Resources for researching immigration from a variety of disciplinary perspectives

Find Articles in Research Databases

To find scholarly articles more quickly, use the limiter for peer-reviewed or scholarly journals.  Some databases allow you to indicate that an article must be longer than a certain number of pages. Looking for articles longer than 3 pages, for example, can be helpful if you want to eliminate book reviews from results.

Find Articles from a Citation

Advanced Search

Sample Citation:

Hurtado, A. (1999). Sex, Gender, Culture, and a Great Event: The California Gold Rush. Pacific Historical Review, 68(1), 1-19. doi:10.2307/3641867

Ways to Search

  • "sex, gender, culture"
  • Hurtado AND "sex, gender, culture"
  • Hurtado AND "sex, gender, culture" AND 1999

Search Strategy & Tips

  1. State your topic or research question in your own words (example: What influence does gender have on success at math?).
  2. Identify the most important keywords (usually the nouns) or short, commonly used phrases.
  3. Think of variations (singular, plural) and synonyms for your terms. It may help to check Thesaurus.com.
  4. Create an initial search statement using connectors or logical operators (especially AND, OR) and, if appropriate, wildcards.
  5. Try it out in one or more databases and/or Library Catalog.
  6. Look for other good keywords and subject terms in search results.
  7. Try revised searches until you're satisfied with the results.
  8. Depending on the volume of results, consider narrowing or broadening your topic.
  9. If you're having difficulties, contact us.

Find more (broaden your results) with OR and wildcards:
immigration or emigration     (finds either term)
immigrant or immigrants
immigra*     (finds immigrant, immigrants, immigration, etc.)

Find less (narrow your results) with AND:
assimilation and asian-american*     (finds both terms)

Find less (narrow your results) with NOT:
term 1 not term 2     (excludes records that mention 2nd term; use with caution)

Sample search statement:
foreign worker* and (exploit* or abuse)


  • Narrow results with standard  limiters (peer-reviewed, date; document type; language; etc.)
  • Some databases allows quotation marks for an "exact phrase"
  • In databases for a specific subject discipline, look for specialized limiters (such as historical time period in America: History & Life or educational level in ERIC)
  • Try restricting some terms to the title or abstract field
  • Try restricting some terms to the subject or descriptors field. Subject terms can vary from database to database, but using them usually improves relevance so look for them in results displays and detailed records. Some databases include a subject terms thesaurus.


  • Look for different, relevant keywords or subject terms to try
  • Simplify your search by removing less critical search terms or limiters
  • Expand some terms to the all text or full text field, if provided
  • Try a different database or OneSearch

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