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Ethel K Smith Library

GPS 210: Global Perspectives in Literature - Mills: Research Planning

Step 1: Search Terms from Research Question

Starting Reaserch Question:

How have gender roles changed from our readings based in the Middle Ages?

Find important words, and refine ambiguous terms to get your keywords.

"gender roles" "middle ages"

Step 2: Get Background Information


  • Overview   -   Gain a broad understanding of your topic
  • Definitions - Be an informed reader
  • Notable Names - Know the major players
  • Dates & Events - Contextualize your topic
  • Bibliographies - Fish those citations!

 General Encyclopedias

Periodical Search

Step 3: Brainstorm Synonyms

Build a list of keyword synonyms and concepts

"gender roles"  "sex roles" "men's roles"  "women's roles"
"middle ages" • "dark ages" "medieval times"

Then mix and match search terms!

e.g. "gender roles" + "middle ages" + Britain