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THEA 31413 Costume Design: Research Tips

Seven Search Strategies

  1. AND : Use AND to look for two terms at the same time: Globalization AND Employment→will locate resources containing both terms.

  2. OR: Use OR to look for closely related terms: Gender OR Woman→will look for both, but they do not have to be present in the same resources (this broadens your search).

  3. * (SHIFT + 8): * is usually used at the end of a word that may vary: Nation*→will give you national, nationality, nationhood, and nationalism.

  4. Using quotes when looking for a phrase: "global economy" or "national identity"

  5. Before searching, make a general list of synonyms for search terms.  When one search term does not work, you can substitute another term

  6. For most databases, start with a simple search, using 2 or 3 terms.

  7. "Don't invent the wheel if someone hands you the keys to a Porshe!"→Rely on the subject headings and/or bibliography of a work to find other sources.

What's The Good Word: Great Search Terms

Below are some ideal search terms for databases and the library's catalog.

For clothes use these terms: clothing OR costumes

The time period you are examining, for instance: medieval, "ancient greece", renaissance

Fashion for particular people: child*, women, men

Phrases such as the following:

"fashion design"

"costume design"


Examples of searches

clothing AND (servant OR maid) AND wom*n

"world war II" AND nylon AND fashion

Humanities & Theatre

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Ammie E. Harrison
Mary Couts Burnett Library
TCU Box 298400
Fort Worth, TX 76129
(817) 257-5338