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Anthropology: Getting Started

Finding background information

The three sources listed below provide background information that can give context to and guide your research. These sources also provide vocabulary to use in searching for books and journal articles relevant to your research.

Finding books

1. Search by known item: If you know the author or title of a book you should use, search the catalog by title or author. The pull down menu to the right search box allows you to change the search from keyword to title or author

2. Search by a topic: You can approach topical searches by searching by keyword or using the pull down menu to search by subject. Subject here means one or more terms that librarians have assigned to a book. Librarians place these terms in subject fields of the record for a book and subject searches query only those fields.

Tips on keyword searching.

1. You can use your words in keyword searching, but you may have more success with terms from your course and its readings.  Every discipline has its own vocabulary. You learn this vocabulary in your courses and in your readings. Use terms from your courses and reading when you search for books (and journal articles).

2. If one term doesn't work, try a few others. Experiment with different vocabulary related to your topic. Besides course readings, you can seek terms from the reference sources on the “getting started tab” or from librarians.

If the UIC copy of a book you seek is unavailable or if UIC does not have what you need, Search I-Share. The I-Share catalog tells you what 70+ academic libraries in Illinois have and you can request online most of the books.

Finding articles

Human Relations Area Files


Paula Dempsey's picture
Paula Dempsey
Richard J. Daley Library
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