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FASH 137: Clothing, Society and Culture

Think About Your Keywords

If you are having trouble finding articles with the keywords you are using, you can try a few things:


  • Get more broad/general with the keyword or concept. For example, instead of buddhist, try religion

  • Think about synonyms and related concepts. For example, synonyms for textile include fabric, cloth, and material. It may take some trial and error before you find the articles you need - the authors may be using terms that are different than what you are searching, but related. Google is a great place to help you brainstorm synonyms and related words! (E.g., a Google search for "textile synonyms" helped find the synonyms listed above.)


Where Are You Looking?

Still not finding the most relevant information? Need a few more articles?


Try a different database - depending on your topic, there may be better articles in a different collection of journals. 

  • Use additional databases on this page for more options.

  • Try OneSearch, the library's discovery tool that searches several databases at once. (It will also search for books and media, so be sure to use the filters on the left.)

Recent Subcultures: Not Finding Info?

Are you having trouble finding scholarly articles on your topic because it refers to more recent trends and subcultures?


  • You can use a mix of sources to provide coverage of your topic for your assignment. For example, if your topic is the skateboarding subculture and you are having trouble finding many academic articles discussing it, take a step back and try to find academic research on the broader concept of "subcultures," or those related to "sports" in general (or "extreme" sports?), or even a more historical discussion about that particular activity (When did it start? What group originated it? You may find academic articles discussing historical aspects of your topic even if you aren't finding recent discussions.)

  • Then, you can use magazines and newspapers to find articles that talk about your topic from a more recent perspective. It may not be the in-depth research projects of the scholarly articles, but there may be important analysis and perspectives from authors of these more popular sources.

  • By using both the scholarly articles about subcultures, and then the more recent magazine/newspaper/website articles about the skateboarding culture specifically, you are still providing a good mix of sources that are credible, relevant and support the points you are making in your paper.

  • NOTE: I would encourage you to try and find scholarly articles on your topic before you assume there won't be any - there are actually many academic articles on skateboarding culture! However, if you are narrowing your topic to a point where you are not finding what you need in the scholarly literature, then move on to the popular sources to supplement.

Last Updated: Jul 11, 2024 3:58 PM