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Use this guide to find books, articles, databases, and other resources for research in history.

Finding Articles

Search Strategies


  • Look at your question(s) - what are the keywords you will use to search?
  • Now that you have your keywords, write out some possible synonyms of each word or related concepts. 
  • Take notes of what you are using to search
  • Keep track of what databases you have used

For example, if you are searching for information on the Great Depression, you might also want to look for:

  • Dust Bowl
  • Black Thursday
  • Smoot-Hawley Tariff 
  • Economic Depression 

Adjust your searches by narrowing the focus or by combining research terms.

Once you type in your search terms, use the "Refine my results" list on the left-hand side to help narrow down your search by:

  • format
  • subject
  • publication date
  • and more!

Boolean Operators

In many databases, you can use a wildcard character to retrieve results of all words that start with the letters before the wildcard. Often, this character is *.

So when searching for "pollinat*", you will get results for: pollination, pollinators, and pollinating.


Boolean Operator Infographic

Created by the University of Wisconsin Whitewater.