Research Tips that Get You Started
Select a topic that interests you:
Start by choosing a topic that interests you and that you can cover in the time and space required for your project.
Do preliminary searches:
Do a few searches in the Library Catalog or article databases before commiting to your topic. You may find that you need to narrow or broaden your topic based on what you discover.
Read background information:
Take a few minutes to read about your topic in a specialized encyclopedia, dictionary or handbook. These sources will provide you with background information, as well as lists of other sources to get you started on your research.
Make a list of words that describe your topic:
Write your topic out as a short sentence or question and identify the primary concepts. From these concepts, start compiling a list of synonyms and related concepts that describe your topic. Use these words and phrases to search for your topic in the Library Catalog and in Article Databases.
Focus on scholarly sources:
Use library resources to locate scholarly or peer-reviewed sources. Such sources are typically not freely available on the Web.
Keep a log of your search process:
Keep track of what sources and search terms work and which ones do not.
Cite as you go:
Even if you're not sure whether you will use a source, it's much easier to note the citation information up front than to decide you need it later.
Welcome to the Research Guide for Anthropology. Feel free to contact me for additional guidance. Contact information is available on the right-hand side of page. I am also happy to hear your ideas about other material to add to the Anthropology page.
American Anthropological Association Style Manual
American Anthropological Association uses The Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. This guide is an outline of style rules basic to AAA style. Where no rule is present on this list, follow Chicago. For spelling, follow Webster’s first spelling if there is a choice and use American not British spellings. This guide does not apply to newsletters, which frequently deviate from these guidelines in the interest of space and tend to follow many Associated Press style rules.