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Tutt Library Research Guides


HY200 Colorado and Its Histories: Search Tips

Sample Keywords

You can broaden your searches by using an asterick (*) with keywords. For example, autobiograph* will search for both autobiography and autobiographies.

  • Autobiography
  • Captivity narratives
  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Documents
  • Letters
  • Memoirs
  • Papers
  • Personal narratvies
  • Photographs
  • Sources
  • Speeches

Peer-Reviewed Defined

Peer-reviewed means that a group of experts in a field have examined articles prior to publishing them in a scholarly journal. Most often, scholarly or peer-reviewed articles have the following features:

- Bibliography, footnotes, or endnotes. This provides evidence of the research that was conducted to write the article.

- Written by expert(s) in the field. There is usually a paragraph that describes the author’s credentials and current position.

- Published by associations, research institutes, and university presses.

- Written in the jargon of the field for scholarly readers (i.e., professors, researchers or students.)

- Illustrations that support the text, such as tables of statistics, graphs, maps, or photographs

Starting Your Search

Your best bet is to start with simple, general terms. Once you have your results, you can find more keywords by following these tips:

  • Scan titles within your results list to find related terms. 
  • Review the cataloging record a book that looks really good so you can see a list of subject descriptors. 
  • Click on relevant subject descriptors to pull up a list of related books.
TIGER, the CC Library Catalog: 

HY 200 Topics and Related Terms

Topic Keywords Subject Searches

Japanese Americans--Evacuation
and relocation, 1942-1945
in Colorado



Sand Creek
Sand Creek
Sand Creek Massacre, Colo., 1964
Cheyenne Indians
Arapahoe Indians

Keyword Searching

Use the Search Generator from Northwest Missouri State University to help you create a keyword search. 

                        Using AND/OR/NOT (Boolean Search Operators)


Use AND to focus search and combine different aspects of your topic.

Example: vegetarianism and environment

Use OR to expand your search and find synonyms/related terms.

Example: global warming or climate change


Use NOT to exclude a word or phrase from your search

Example: emissions trading not United States


Additional Search Tips

"Phrase search"  - Use quotation marks (" ") to search for a particular phrase.

Example: "greenhouse gas emissions"

Truncation * - Use an asterisk to find variations of a word. Put an asterisk following the root of the word to find all variations of that word, including singular and plural.

Example: environment* (finds environments, environmental, environmentalist, etc.)

(Grouping/Nesting Keywords) - Use parentheses ( ) as a way to group all your search terms together.

Example: (climate change or global warming) and population growth

Google Searches

Google is a great way to search for digital archives at libraries, government agencies, museums, historical societies, and associations. Here are a few tips for weeding through your results so you'll be able to identify reliable sources:

  • Review the content to see if it cites scholarly, peer-reviewed books and journals.

  • Scan site domain names, looking for the extensions .edu, .org, and .gov. These domains are most often used by reputable sources, such as universities, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, and government agencies.   

Type of Organization
Smithsonian Institution
organization or association
Mining History Association
U.S. government
National Archives       
personal or other type                   of site
San Juan Silver Stage

Google for Keywords

Search Google to find keywords related to your topic.

Use a Secondary Source to Find a Primary Source

A bibliography from a good secondary source is a fast, easy way to find primary sources.

Tutt Library, Colorado College      Research Help Desk: 719-389-6662, Texting: 719-387-5441, E-mail: