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Black Studies

Beginning the Research Process

Black Studies is a multidisciplinary field of study. Your research topics may reflect this, and you could find yourself browsing anything from historical sources to medical databases. Choosing your research topic and determining its keywords are important first steps in locating appropriate sources. The videos below demonstrate how to develop a research question or topic, and how to find the keywords within those topics.


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Research Databases

You can access databases using the library website. You may be asked to log in with your myUMassD information if you are off campus or using campus WiFi. Databases can contain scholarly (also known as peer-reviewed) journal articles, magazine articles, newspaper articles, and even videos and podcasts. It is important to check your syllabus or ask your professor about the types of sources they would like you to use in your research. The databases have many tools built in to help you quickly narrow down your search results to the most relevant content you can find.

Below are some databases that I recommend you try using. Don't be afraid to try different ones and experiment with search techniques that work best for you!