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Africana Studies Subject Guide — Finding Books

Interdisciplinary guide for Africana/African American Studies

Finding Books on a Particular Topic:

Start with a keyword search. When starting your keywords search try to do a balance search—not too broad but not to narrow either. Something too broad will bring 10,000 hits, while something too narrow can bring 0 results. Start a search using the preferred term "African Americans" + your topic of choice. Use several synonymous that describe your topic to be sure that you find everything that you need.

If you find books on your topic, check the subjects listed in the library record. Those subjects can be used to find more books on your topic. Also, looks at the terms used in academic articles or books to be sure to capture all the possible terms used to describe your topic.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

If you are new to the field of Africana Studies, one way to learn more about your topic and to find useful keywords for your searches, is to consult encyclopedias and handbooks. These type of books offer the background information that will help you formulate your research question.

Find Books by Black Studies Scholars

Another way to find useful books for your research is to see the books published by expert in the field. Below is a list of well known Africana studies scholars who you can check out for inspiration to pick a topic or to get academic books on your research topic.

Dramatic Works by Black Authors