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Chinese-American History: Search Strategy

Skyline College Library Databases

SEARCH PREPARATION

Before searching for articles on a topic, you should prepare for your search by:

  • developing a clear, specific research topic or research question, an
  • dividing the research topic in "concepts" (different subtopics or elements)

For example, for the research question: 

What was the tradition of sending an immigrant’s bones to China for burial?

This research question can be divided into "concepts":

1. Chinese 
2. immigrants 
3. bones for burial

Develop a "search worksheet"
For each concept, think of different synonyms or related words that might be used for the same concept.
-  Type an OR between synonymous words for the same concept.
-  Use an * to search for multiple words from the same root, e.g. immigra* will find articles with the words: immigrate, immigration, immigrant or immigrated 
-  Use quote marks (“ ”) around search phrases (multiple words that should be searched together), e.g. "ethnic identity"
Example:

1. Chin* 
2. immigr*
3. bones OR
burial OR bury OR funeral*

DATABASE SEARCHING

OneSearch (To log into our databases off-campus you'll need to use your email or Canvas login.)

Search most of Skyline Library's article databases and book catalog to find a wide range of articles from academic journals, popular magazines, newspapers and reference sources, e-books & other documents, plus print books available in the library.

Click on the link above to open a new database window

To search for more than one "concept", click on Advanced Search below the Search box.

In each search box, type the search word(s) for a separate concept.

  • Click the “Search” button to begin a search
  • When the results page is displayed, click on an article title to see detailed information and a summary of the article.
  • To see the full-text of an article, click on PDF Full Text or HTML Full Text at the left of the detailed information page
  • To limit to just one type of publication (e.g. magazines), click on one of the categories listed under "Source Types" on the left column.
  • To print or e-mail an article, click on the print or e-mail buttons on the right task bar.
    • A source citation will also be sent when you email a document. You can select the citation format (MLA, APA, Chicago) from the menu in the email box.


Other research topic examples:
 

What did Chinese immigrants contribute to agriculture in California or the U.S.?

 "Concepts":

1. Chinese 
2. immigrants 
3
agriculture
4. California OR U.S.

"Search worksheet":

1. Chin* 
2. immigr*
3. agricult* OR farm*
4. California OR U.S. OR "United States" OR America


What was the history of San Francisco's Chinatown

 "Concepts":

1. Chinatown 
2. San Francisco 
3
history

"Search worksheet":

1. Chinatown 
2. "San Francisco" 
3. 
histor*


What did
Chinese immigrants contribute to building railroads in the American West?

 "Concepts":

1. Chinese 
2. immigrants 
3
railroads

"Search worksheet":

1. Chin* 
2. immigr*
3. railroad*

What were the attitudes of Chinese immigrant families about daughters?

 "Concepts":

1. Chinese 
2. immigrants 
3
daughters
4. families

"Search worksheet":

1. Chin* 
2. immigr*
3. daughter* OR sister*
4 famil*
 

What is a “paper son” in Chinese immigration?

 "Concepts":

1. Chinese 
2. immigrants 
3
"paper son"

"Search worksheet":

1. Chin* 
2. immigr*
3. 
"paper son"

Explain the concept of The American Dream in relation to Chinese immigration.

 "Concepts":

1. Chinese 
2. immigrants 
3
American dream

"Search worksheet":

1. Chin* 
2. immigr*
3. 
"American dream"


 

Other databases:

Ethnic NewsWatch (library card bar code number required from off campus)
Articles from the ethnic, minority and native press.


Historical New York Times (library card bar code number required from off campus)
Searchable full text articles from the New York Times from 1851 to 2009.

Historical San Francisco Chronicle (library card bar code number required from off campus)
Searchable full text articles from the San Francisco Chronicle from 1865 to 1922.

CQ Researcher (library card bar code number required from off campus)
In-depth reports on current social issues and problems from Congressional Quarterly.
 

CountryWatch (library card bar code number required from off campus)
Up-to-date news and information on the countries of the world.

Additional Resources

Google Scholar
Google’s academic search engine accesses a wide range of academic articles, books and academic documents. Many of the sources retrieved by Google Scholar are often abstracts (summaries) of articles, which do not provide the full-text of the article (or a significant charge is required for the full article). In many cases, you may be able to retrieve the full-text of these articles by using the Skyline College Library Article Delivery Service.
Use the search box below to search Google Scholar or click on the link above to open Google Schoolar in a new window.

Google Scholar


To search for multiple concepts, use ORs between words for the same concept, quotes around phrases, parentheses around each concept, and ANDs between concepts. For example:

Chinese  immigration OR immigrants  bones OR burial OR bury OR funeral



Google Advanced News Archive Search
Historical news archives.