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WGSS 301: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality in Contemporary Societies

This guide is intended to support your research in women's, gender, and sexuality studies.

Scholarly Journal Articles


How do we know a source we've found is a scholarly journal article? Look for these clues:

  • written by scholars (with affiliations to universities or research institutions)
  • written for other scholars and students (and therefore difficult to read)
  • published in an academic journal with a peer-review process
    • Here are some examples:
      • Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
      • Transgender
      • Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy
  • structured format (abstract, introduction, etc...)
  • extensive references at the end
Tips Examples
Use keywords, not long search phrases

Instead of searching for "How are cities and states engaged in immigration reform?" search for

cities, states, immigration reform

To get more focused results:

Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together

Use AND to combine different keywords

"immigration reform" AND San Diego

To get broader results:

Use OR to combine similar/associated keywords

Truncate words that have a variety of endings with a *

"immigration reform" AND (California or San Diego)



immigra* = immigrant, immigrate, immigration

Look for ways to limit your search in the database using the Advanced Search mode

You can often limit by type of article (editorial, front page) & year of publication