Literary Adaptations in Hispanic Cinema

Course #: SP498

Choosing effective keywords

  • Formulate a research question in order to focus your ideas about the topic. Please see our video tutorial on developing an effective research question
  • Write down the different concepts used in this question (“One Hundred years of Solitude” AND “imagery” AND “film”)
  • For each concept, think of similar terms that you might also use (“imagery” OR “images” OR “symbolism”)
  • TIP: Find additional clues for terms in the titles and abstracts of articles
  • Locating the right combination of keywords takes time. You will need to go back and forth, revising the terms as you examine your search results
  • View our video tutorial on using keywords effectively

Using library databases to find articles

Using Google Scholar to find Laurier Library articles

To make the most effective use of Google Scholar:

  • Click on the wheel (settings); click on “Library Links.” Type the word “Laurier”; check the link to Wilfrid Laurier University and save preferences
  • Look for the “Get it @ Laurier” link beside articles that the library owns
  • Use the advanced search option for more targeted searching
  • If you find too many irrelevant resources, change the drop-down option from search “anywhere in the article” to search “in the title of the article”
  • If the article is not free, click on the link to other versions of it (just below the description of the article). One of the versions may be freely available
  • To find key authors on your topic check the “cited by” link
  • If the article is dated, click on the “cited by” link for more recent articles on the same topic

Using Google to locate academic articles and sites

To find better quality resources on Google:

  • Be prepared to sift through a large number of irrelevant sources. Google sorts by popularity, not by relevance, quality, or date so the best or most recent resources can sometimes be far down the list of hits
  • Use the advanced search (in the wheel icon at the top right corner of the page) for more targeted searching
  • In the advanced search screen, specify a domain such as .edu or .net. Remember that academic sources are outnumbered by commercial sites and casual blogs
  • Be prepared to personally evaluate each site since the vast majority of Internet sites have not been vetted by editors or peer-reviewers
  • If you are not finding pertinent results, think of related terms for your topic and separate each with the capitalized word, OR
  • Use quotation marks around phrases for more precise searching
  • Look for sites with an “about me” link and ensure that the writer is an academic or has the qualifications needed to write about the topic
  • Look for a date on the site; avoid dateless or outdated research
  • Look for articles that are clearly written, provide convincing evidence, are error-free, and accurately cite sources
  • Avoid any sources with signs of bias, broken links, advertising, or an unprofessional appearance

Too many search results?

  • If you get too many search results, use narrower search terms (e.g. “One Hundred Years of Solitude” instead of “Hispanic cinema”)
  • Try adding more concepts to your search. Adding more terms that are linked by “AND” will decrease your number of search results

Too few search results?

  • Think in terms of broader categories (“Hispanic cinema” rather than “One Hundred Years of Solitude”)
  • Add alternate terms for each concept (“cinema” OR “films” OR “movies”). Adding more terms that are linked by “OR” will increase your number of search results
  • TIP: Look at the bibliographies of the most pertinent books and articles on your topic. One author can lead you to others in the field

Creating the bibliography

Need help with research?

  • Don’t hesitate to contact me (Pauline Dewan); I am here to help you. For additional information, see my contact page
  • Email I can email or call you back
  • Call 519 756-8228 ext 5529. (If you are on campus, just dial 5529)
  • Visit the information desk at the library (just inside the front door)
  • Instant message us by clicking on “Ask Us” (from the homepage of the Laurier Library)

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