Search strategy
Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research in Comparative American Studies.
  1. Begin your search with a library catalog (OBIS, OhioLINK and/or WorldCat) to find books and reference sources.  They provide BACKGROUND and CONTEXT, review and SUMMARIZE earlier work, help you FOCUS your topic and provide CITATIONS to important books, journal articles, conference papers, interviews, etc.
     
  2. Next, search research databases to find articles. The Library has hundreds of databases available, but the ones listed below are good places to begin.
     
  3. Finally, you may wish to use Google or Google Scholar to search the Internet.  Take advantage of Google's advanced search features!
Finding books and reference sources
OBIS: Catalog of the Oberlin College Library Unrestricted Resource
OhioLINK Library Catalog Unrestricted Resource
WorldCat Restricted Resource

Finding secondary sources
America: History and Life Restricted Resource
Index to research on the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. Indexes articles and book reviews from more than 1,700 journals published in more than 40 languages. Dates of Coverage: 1964 to date
Ethnic NewsWatch Restricted Resource Some full text available
Full-text coverage of newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press in America. Dates of Coverage:  1959 to date


Gender Studies Database Restricted Resource
Covers the full spectrum of sexual diversity issues and gender-engaged scholarship inside and outside academia. Source documents include professional journals, conference papers, books, book chapters, government reports, discussion and working papers, theses and dissertations, and more.

Dates of Coverage: 1972-


JSTOR Restricted Resource Some full text available
Scholarly journal archive for the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences;  recent volumes (within 2 to 5 years) not available for many titles.

SocINDEX Restricted Resource Some full text available
Provides full text of some journal articles, and indexing and abstracts for journals, books and conference papers.  Covers all sub-fields of sociology, including criminology, gender, marriage & family studies, social work, social psychology, addictions, violence, and more.   
Research help
Oberlin Special Collections & Archives
Special Collections and the College Archives share space in the Goodrich room, which is located on the 4th floor of Mudd. 
 
Hours:  1:30-4:30pm M-F and by appointment
Rare, valuable published materials and objects of historic and artistic significance
 

Archives
Hours:  10am-noon, 1-4:30pm M-F
Unpublished materials and objects relating to the College and to some degree, the town

 
Print Reference Sources
Battleground: the family
Main Reference     HQ515 .B38 2009  (2 volumes)

Encyclopedia of family life
Main Reference     HQ534 .E53 1999  (5 volumes)

International encyclopedia of marriage and family
Main Reference     HQ9 .E52 2003  (3 volumes)

Multiracial America : a resource guide on the history and literature of interracial issues 
Main Reference     Z1361.E4 M86 2005  
 
Other resources
  • Keyword brainstorming exercise -- use this worksheet to help you tweak your research question, identify keywords and related terms, and keep track of what you find
  • CRAAP test  -- this rubric is good for helping you to evaluate the sources you find, both in print and online
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