by Rachel Dwyer
Last Updated Jul 30, 2021
108 views this year
About This Guide
Helpful Hints for Research
Keep in mind:
Try to research something you are genuinely interested in!
Start your search early, to explore what is available in Boston and to request items from other locations through Interlibrary Loan.
Resources may exist, but in other languages, such as French, Portuguese, Swahili, Arabic.
Information may be biased depending on who the author or the publisher is.
It helps to start broadly. Consult general reference books on Africa to learn about the country and /or ethnic group you research. (Each African country has a unique history which continues to impact it today. Understanding the larger context will help as you narrow your research topic. )
As you narrow your topic identify keywords that will help you in your research, such as names, events, and local terms.
For example: “riad” is the term for a traditional Moroccan house with a courtyard.
Keep in mind there may be variations in keywords.
For example: Touareg vs. Tuareg, Berber, Imazighen, Amazigh
When you find a good resource, be sure to note the author (did they write other works on this topic?) and consult the works cited and/or bibliography to see who they relied on for their research.