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LLED 200 - Introduction to Writing in Academic and Professional Registers for Ritsumeikan Students

Library research guide for UBC-Ritsumeikan Program students in AEP-LLED 200: Introduction to Writing in Academic and Professional Registers

Exercise: Developing your topic

Broad Topic: Canada's settler colonialism

1. Use your personal experiences and/or reference resources, and develop a moderately specific topic that interest you. As a source, encyclopedia articles can give you authoritative background information, and newspaper articles offer insights into interesting and current issues on the topic.

Example resource: Indigenous Foundations (UBC)

Example topic: Indigenous women in B.C.

2. Identify a few keywords to use in your search for resources.

Think about...

  • What: Ideas and concepts found in your research question
  • Where: Cities, Provinces
  • Who: Age groups, Ethnic groups, Sexual orientation, Gender, Refugees
  • How: Gender, Date range, Event (e.g. the Immigration Act)

Example keywords: i) settler colonialism ii) Indigenous women iii) British Columbia iv) impact v) 21st century

3. Using the keywords, ask a specific question your research will try to answer ("research question").

Example: What has been the impact of settler colonialism on the role of women in Indigenous communities in B.C. in the 21st century?

Exercise: Start your search (Summon)

Go to the Library's homepage and type your keywords into the main (Summon) search box. Review the results and find one resource for your paper.

Summon searches most of the materials that UBC Library owns or licenses. This means that sometimes you'll get a very large result list. Don't worry - with just a few careful clicks you can narrow the list down.

In the grey menu to the left of your results, you'll notice a series of filters that you can select to refine your results. See the Summon Guide for more information on how to refine search results.

Exercise: Advanced searching

1. Go to the Journal Articles or Newspaper Articles section of the Resources page, and look for a discipline-based article databases. Choose one of the databases to use for this exercise.

Example: Canadian Business & Current Affairs

2. In order to use advanced search options, think of different ways to describe your topic using synonyms and larger concepts.


i) "settler colonialism" OR colonialism

ii) (Indigenous OR aboriginal OR native OR "first nations") AND wom?n (or use NEAR instead of AND)

iii) "British Columbia" OR "B.C." OR Canada

iv) impact OR influence OR effect

3. Use the 'Advanced Search' option in your database, fill in your search boxes with the terms from Step 2.

4. If your advanced search retrieves too many results, try using the various limits/filters provided in the database, such as date, language, peer-review, subject, format.

Additional Resources