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Critical Writing Program: Feminist Life : Overview

Scholarly Databases

Become familiar with Discipline Specific Databases covering this area: 

Sociological Abstracts-- The international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences.

GenderWatch--archival material, dating back to 1970 in some cases, GenderWatch is a repository of important historical perspectives on the evolution of the women's movement, men's studies, the transgendered community, and the changes in gender roles over the years. 

Studies on Women and Gender Abstracts--indexes books and journal articles on education, employment, women in the family, medicine and health, gender role socialization, social policy, the social psychology of women, female culture, media treatment of women, biography, literary criticism and historical studies.

Contemporary Women's Issues--magazine and academic journal coverage of women's issues. Try an "advanced search" 

Psycinfo--Access to the scholarly literature, both books and journals, in the psychological, social, behavioral, and health sciences.

America: History and Life / Historical Abstracts--Access to articles covering multiple aspects of US history (prehistory to the present) and history of the world (1450 to the present).

These multi-disciplinary databases will help you find scholarly articles about your topic

a selection of keywords and terms

  • feminist history
  • collectivity
  • patriarchy
  • inclusion
  • canon
  • classics
  • archives
  • women
  • --terms related to ethnicity,
         nation, religion, or region
  • --terms connected with 
         historical period identity

sexism

exploitation

racism

language

diversity

critical theory

theory

intersectionality

pluralism

privilege

Boolean Searching (working with sets)

Three venn diagrams used to explain how boolean operators work. First venn diagram has only the center section colored in and says, AND broadens, both terms. Second venn diagram is completely colored in and says, or broadens, either term. Third venn diagram the left side is only colored in and does not overlap and says not excludes, just one term

Test YOUR Research Skills

Keyword Searching

This document suggests a good method of crafting effective keyword searches:

Background Resources

Find this guide on the Web

Why use this guide?

This Critical Writing Program guide will help you to:

  • Read a citation
  • Find books and articles using citations and keywords
  • Choose the best scholarly resources for your topic
  • Get personalized assistance!

APA Style Guide

How to Read a Citation

Book citations generally show a publisher and a city of publication and often an ISBN (13 digit number). Book chapters will include the title of the chapter as well as the name of the book. In examples below, note punctuation, italics, capitalization practices.

Book example:

Model: Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

Calfee, R. C., & Valencia, R. R. (1991). APA guide to preparing manuscripts for journal publication. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Book chapter:

Model: Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pages of chapter). Location: Publisher.

Example: O'Neil, J. M., & Egan, J. (1992). Men's and women's gender role journeys: A metaphor for healing, transition, and transformation. In B. R. Wainrib (Ed.), Gender issues across the life cycle (pp. 107-123). New York, NY: Springer.

Journal article citations have a journal/serial title in addition to the article title and article author. They will usually also show a volume and issue number, and may show a date, month, or season.

Journal Article example:

Model: Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.
https://doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyy [URL or DOI]

Example:
Harlow, H. F. (1983). Fundamentals for preparing psychology journal articles. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 55, 893-896.  [note--you may or may not have the DOI (direct object indicator)--which is a unique construction applied to online articles.]

Using Citations to Find Articles

If you have a complete article citation, search Articles+ on the Penn Libraries homepage to find the full text of your article..

No luck? That doesn't mean we don't have access to the article - it could be in print! Try using the PennText Article Finder as a next step. 

To find the full-text of an article, enter the journal name into the PennText article finder. A pop-up box will give you options to access the article online, in print, or the option to request through interlibrary loan (or BorrowDirect/EZBorrow)

Using Citations to Find Books


If your citation is a book, use Franklin, the Library catalog. Franklin will help you find the library in which the book is located, and the call number.

You can search for a specific book by title, author, or ISBN. You can also do a keyword or subject keyword search to find books on a particular topic.

title keyword franklin catalog

Other important resources for finding books:

Information Literacy Librarian

Rebecca Stuhr's picture
Rebecca Stuhr
Contact:
Van Pelt Library 218
215-898-5999

Books and Articles Beyond Penn

The Penn Libraries provide multiple ways to connect with books and journal articles that aren't immediately available to you in print or electronically, including: 

BorrowDirect -- books from our Ivy league partners and a few others including Stanford and University of Chicago

EZ Borrow -- books from our Pennsylvania Partners and a few others including New York University 

Scan and Deliver / Interlibrary loan -- for journal articles, chapters in books, and materials not available through our partnerships. 

Read about it here 

Your Course Text

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A Selection of Other Books of Possible Interest

Use keywords from these titles to find more books on the topic. Checked out? Try making a request through our BorrowDirect or EZ Borrow options.