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Research Guides

WRIT 148: Sex in the Middle Ages

Carlos Vega - Fall 2021


man holding heart balloon in front of faceThis guide provides some useful starting places and strategies for doing research for this course. I'm happy to consult with you on any aspect of your research, from developing a research question to finding, evaluating, and citing sources. Email me or make a calendar Zoom appointment!

- Karen Storz, Research & Instruction Librarian

Get Started with SuperSearch

SuperSearch can be a great place to start your search for journal articles, books, films, newspaper & magazine articles, and almost everything else the library has, in one easy to use interface. You can use the filters on the results screen to refine your search and improve your results. For example, choose Peer-Reviewed Article to find scholarly journal articles, or choose Content Type: Encyclopedia Articles & More to find background sources. Click More... to see all content types.


Because SuperSearch contains so much content from so many different kinds of resources, the results can sometimes be overwhelming and hard to focus. At the same time, SuperSearch is also not comprehensive and can miss key sources. To search with more focus, precision, and depth, be sure to try the databases recommended on this guide, as well as the library catalog for books and films.

For more on how to search, see the Search Tips & Tutorials page of this guide.

Quick Search Tips

These tips work in SuperSearch and most databases.

Use quotation marks " " to search words as a phrase. This will narrow your results.

"birth control"

Use AND to combine multiple concepts in your search. This will narrow your results.

"birth control" AND medieval

Use OR to find different ways your topic could be expressed. This will expand your results. Group these related terms in parentheses, so the database interprets them first. The following search will find results that have any one of the terms in the first set of parentheses along with any one of the terms in the second set.

("birth control" OR contraception) AND (medieval OR "middle ages")

Use an asterisk * to find variant endings. This will expand your results.

("birth control" OR contracept*AND (medieval OR "middle ages")

Key Databases for Scholarly Sources

Databases can contain a combination of full text articles (ready to read online) and citation information about articles, book chapters, or books. To find additional databases relevant to your research interests, go to the Library's Databases A-Z list and use the Subjects menu.

Search Tip: Some databases search a relatively small amount of information about each source by default, rather than the full text of the source itself. Trying a variety of keywords is often essential to getting good results in many databases. Make note of relevant keywords and subject terms that come up in your initial searches, and use those terms to find more.

Catalog Search Tips

Try a keyword search. Once you find a book that is relevant to your topic, click on the title of that book, then look for Subjects to help you find "more like this."

Sample keyword search:

leads to linked subject terms and more books on this topic:


Not finding enough, or an item checked out? Search WorldCat and request a copy through Interlibrary Loan.

Find Primary Sources