AMETH 160 - Introduction To American Ethnic Studies

This guide provides information to help students in AMETH 160 complete their final projects.

Library Research Guide

Historical and Social Context

These databases and books can help provide context for the historical events, movement, or popular culture stereotype you are researching.

They are just a sampling of what K-State Libraries offers. If you need to research a different topic, visit our complete list of databases.

Search Tips:

1. Collect keywords that concisely describe the topics you are researching. We do this to increase our chances of finding relevant articles, even if the researcher is using different terms from those used in the books or your class discussions. 

Start narrow with the person, object, or event from the book. Then add the categories to which they may belong.

Example: Packard --> car

Once you have categories, add synonyms.

Example: Car = automobile = sedan

2. Read the bibliographies and references. Whether on Wikipedia or in an academic journal article, find out what sources the author consulted. These could be relevant to your research, too.

When you find a title that looks relevant, paste the title (just the title) into Search It to see if K-State Libraries owns it. If we do not, we can try to get a copy for you from another library through Interlibrary Loan.

3. Plan to research, write, research, write. Writing and research feed and inform each other. Be sure to plan time to do both, several times. 

4. Ask a librarian - we can help you at the planning stage and when you get stuck. We can help you via chat, email, or Zoom. You can talk to me, your librarian, or talk to trained library student employee through our Peer Consultations.

K-State Libraries Databases

History and Legal Databases

Interdisciplinary Databases

These databases cover a lot of different subjects, especially in the humanities and social sciences. They are helpful when you're topic could be studied by a number of different disciplines.

Reports and Data

These sources provide facts and numbers on a variety of topics, from census data to major legislative issues to career data.

News and Newspaper Databases

News sources can be primary or secondary sources.

Primary sources: If the article was written at the time of the event you are researching and includes interviews, photos, or reporting from eye-witnesses, it is a primary sources.

Secondary sources: If the article describes a the event in the past, indicating that most of the activity related to that event has ended, it is probably a secondary source.

Sometimes an article can be both, as when an article describes events happening today and then describes events in the past or events leading up to this one. Another tricky example is an article written at the time of an event but focuses on insight from experts instead of witnesses. Consider how you are using the article and what part is most important to your research.

Literature and Popular Culture Databases

K-State Libraries Books

You can find print and ebooks through K-State Libraries on almost any topic. Below are a sampling of the kinds of books you might find that are relevant.

Use the Search It box on the Libraries' home page and enter keywords related to your topic. Or, you can go to the main Search It page.

You can locate more books that introduce you to a topic by searching for your topic and terms like: encyclopedia, handbook, or dictionary.

You can limit your search results using the options that will appear on the left side of the screen on your Search It results page. Options include Resource Type (you can choose book or journal article) or date.

Do you have to read the whole book? Possibly not. You might find the information you need in a specific chapter or, in the case of the scholarly encyclopedias, an entry. 

Landmark Legal Cases

Many of your topics involve important, or landmark, law cases. K-State owns books that provide overviews of these cases, including a series from the University Press of Kansas known as the Landmark Law Cases and American Society Series. If you follow this link to Search It, you will see about 70 titles from that collection; scroll through to see if your case is included. Most of these books are available in Hale, unless they are checked out.

I've also included a sample of titles below.

The Hashtag Syllabus

Want to know what resources professors recommend to each other when teaching topics related to race and/or injustice? Search the internet for a "hashtag syllabus." In each case, the "hashtag" is usually the most common hashtag associated with a movement or event.

A hashtag syllabus does not exist for every movement or event. BUT, you may be surprised by the resources you do find, even if they aren't exactly syllabi.