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WMST 263: Introduction to Black Women's Studies

Research guide for wmst 263

Sometimes the hardest aspect of research is deciding what to write about!  But, since you have your topics, the next hardest thing narrowing it down.
Here are some links to some good sites on narrowing your topic:

Example topic focus:
Black Women in STEM 
How to increase interest in STEM fields among high school female students?  college female students?
How to keep women in STEM fields by providing a welcoming and sustaining workplace environment? Part-time; flexible scheduling, teleworking, job sharing...
How to attract and increase minority women in STEM fields?

One of the best places to help you decide on a topic and get some good background information and an introduction is the
Credo Reference database.
Search for a topic or person 
both terms are used: black or african american
black women discrimination
black women politics
black women fashion industry
(black or african american) and women
(black or african american) and women and incarceration 
(black or african american) and women and activism
shondra rhimes
​barbara jordan


Use worldcat, our catalog and get some books to  spur some ideas of major issues facing black women.

Listed below are some subject encyclopedias to get you started.
Searches in worldcat include:
women encyclopedia*
"african american*" women encyclopedia*
"african american*" encyclopedia*
women encyclopedia* social
women encyclopedia* cultur*

Retrieve too many? use the filters on the left: format / date
Click on - Description - for additional subject headings, table of contents, summary

Then, when you have selected a topic, find additional books using the search strategies (see Search Strategies tab)

Not sure what tv program / movie / album / individual woman to study? You might start with these books / videos streaming and web sites.
keywords to use:
african american women television
women television
women motion pictures
women film directors
Women motion picture producers and directors 
women musicians
performance art women

Once you find a book or two that look to be relevant, click on Description for additional subjects to search.


If you are going to focus on an individual women, in most cases you can search just with first name last name, if you retrieve too many documents that are not relevant, try placing the name in quotes, last name, first name. 

kasi lemmons
​julie dash

add additional words:

Strategies for the databases:
1. Place the name  in quotes:
"ava duvernay"
"serena williams"
"toni braxton"

2. If retrieve too many results add defining words:

other keywords that describe the profession 

title of the work
"how to get away with murder"
"girl on fire"

other keywords that describe any issues

3. If still retrieve too many results or results are not relevant, change the search field from Select a Field (optional) to SU Subject and last name, first name

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