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Anthropology Research

Background information

Before you begin searching for articles or books on your topic, you need to identify the right keywords. Consider:

  • WHO are the people? Look for specific names.
  • WHERE did the events take place? Look for place names like towns, regions, or landmarks.
  • WHEN did the events take place? Not just the year in which it took place, but the name of that era (e.g., Regency era).
  • WHAT was the event called when it happened? WHAT is it called now? (e.g., "The Great War" vs. "World War I")

Make a list of the key names and phrases that describe your topic so you can refer back to it when searching.

Get started in one of these databases:

Books and ebooks

Books are in-depth, subject-specific writing about a particular time period, event, person, or phenomenon. They combine background information with analysis of primary and secondary sources. In short, they are a very valuable resource for anthropological research. The CSU-Pueblo Library owns hundreds of anthropology books and ebooks. But if we don't have what you're looking for, you may be able to request it from another library. 

Scholarly articles

Scholarly articles, unlike books, are very narrowly focused. They do not provide much background information or a comprehensive picture of an issue or event. Researchers working on a single project will produce several articles as they go along. Therefore they are very useful for understanding how anthropologists examine evidence, formulate theories, and draw conclusions.

One of the most useful elements of a scholarly article is its list of references. This shows you where to find the primary and secondary sources the author used.