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CJ 445: Race & Social Justice: Research Guide

Guides on how to search

For your Unessay assignment in this class, you can do or create anything you want on your topic of choice! There are requirements though, some of which the resources in this guide will help you fulfill.

Specifically, the videos, worksheets, and resources on this page will help you ensure that your project is accurate and truthful (i.e. your information is credible and trustworthy) and complete (i.e. you have covered all relevant aspects, including different perspectives/experiences of the topic). It will also give you tips on how to conduct research using the library, if you decide that is necessary/appropriate for your project.

  1. The first step to making sure your treatment of any topic for any type of project is complete is taking the time to brainstorm and explore.
  2. Once you do that, you will probably need to do some research on the topic to answer the questions you came up with during your exploration. For this step, you'll need to make a list of search terms that you can add to as you search.
  3. Through your research (see more tips on using the library for research below) you will find various sources of information that may answer your research questions. But don't skip this important step: evaluation. You must evaluate any source you are considering using to ensure it is accurate, truthful, and credible.

The fillable research worksheet below will guide you through all three of the above steps: exploring your chosen topic, brainstorming keywords for researching it, and evaluating your chosen sources:


Exploring your topic, developing a search strategy, and evaluating your sources


For more info on brainstorming keywords, watch this two-minute video (from PSU Libraries):


The PDF handouts below provide step-by-step instructions for researching using some key library resources to find articles and books, along with additional tips for searching and finding scholarly sources in general.

Below the PDF handouts, you will find links directly to the library resources mentioned in the handouts, so you can get started researching once you've reviewed the guidance in the handouts.

The best place to start searching the library is Primo--the main search form on the library homepage:


How to search using Primo (the WOU library search engine)


You can also find scholarly articles and books (mainly articles) by searching in one or more of the smaller, subject-specific databases that the library subscribes to:

How to search using EBSCO databases (ex. Academic Search Premier)


Finding books, articles, and more using the library search engine

A good place to start your search is the library's "search engine," Primo. To begin searching in Primo, just go to the library homepage at and enter your keywords in the main search box.

Search in Primo


Below are some subject-specific additional databases you may want to use to conduct your research. Just like in Primo, search using your brainstormed keywords. Most of what is available in these databases will show up in your Primo searches, but since these databases are smaller and subject-specific you will get fewer results and therefore might find them easier to manage. Most of the results in these databases will be journal articles, rather than books. 

Related Library Guides

Linked below are other library guides with resources related to race and social justice that may be relevant to your topic:

Citation Guides

Writing a paper? Wondering how to format in APA, MLA, or another format? Check out our citation tools and guides.



NoodleTools helps you write citations in MLA, APA, or Chicago format, and create annotated bibliographies. It also has tools to create notecards, draft an outline of your paper and keep track of "To Do" tasks. Citations can be exported directly to your Google Drive, or to Word or other formats.

How to Set-up and Use NoodleTools

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