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International Academy Library Resources

This research guide is designed to support the International Academy across all programs.

Search Tips

Search Options on the USC Libraries Homepage:

  • Search: Searches USC Libraries’ print and online collections.  

  • Databases: Convenient if you know what specific database you are looking for

  • Research guides: Created by experienced USC librarians to help you start/improve your research. Organized to help you find resources you need on a specific subject or topic


Tips to Conducting Research

  • Do background research using reference materials (such as encyclopedias, dictionaries) to find key terms, dates, names, etc.

  • Work from general to the specific - Start big and work your way down

  • Avoid full sentences - Use keywords

  • Develop a list of search terms and refine your terms as you go

  • Always check bibliographies/reference lists/works cited page for good sources

  • Remember: The way you say something may be different than the way a scholar/author says it. Be on the lookout for topic-specific terminology/words and use them to modify your search (Search for "myocardial infarction" instead of "heart attack"). 


Try this:


“genetic engineering”

The search will only look for instances where the words genetic and engineering are next to each other

“genetic engineering” AND humans

This search will look for articles with a tie to humans

“genetic engineering” NOT animals

Eliminates articles with references to animals

“genetic engineering” OR “genetic modification”

Both phrases will be included in the search and will increase the number of results retrieved

   motivat* , wom*n    Use to find any variation of the word

Search Strategies

Developing your Research Question