Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

LIT 211U Latinx Voices & LIT 213C Participatory Literature

This is a course guide for LIT 211U Latinx Voices and LIT 213C Participatory Literature for Fall 2020. Use this guide to explore resources and services available for your term projects and research.

Keywords, Search Terms & AND/OR/"..."

A Keyword Search will search for any time a word or phrase is mentioned in the description and/or record of an item. Starting your research with a keyword search can help you find more relevant subject terms, which can help you narrow (or expand) your search results.


Text on image: What is your topic? What are the specifics of your topic? What do you want to know?

If you're not sure what your keywords might be, think about your general topic and what the specifics of that topic might be.

If you're interested in a work of fiction, what about it is interesting to you? If you're interested in a particular building in NYC, what about that building would you want to know more about? Each aspect of your general research question that you may want to investigate can be used as a keyword/search term as you investigate your topic.

Using AND, OR, or quotation marks to combine your search terms, search for similar terms, or search for exact terms can help you discover more relevant information on your topic.


AND let's you combine your ideas.

Think of using AND as like adding another search box to your investigation. For example, I might be investigating a literary history of lower Manhattan, but my search strategy would like more like (Lower Manhattan AND Literature).

OR let's you search for similar terms.

When we're in conversation with each other, it's really easy to connect similar terms together. When we're using the library's resources in particular, we have to be more self-directed. Adding similar terms to your search using OR let's your expand your search results.

Using "..." /quotation marks allow you to search for exact terms and/or names.

This is really helpful if there is a specific title you want to investigate, or an author or person. This works best with known phrases like "imminent domain" or "climate change," but is not helpful if you are searching for your topic sentence or thesis statement. You do not need quotation marks if you are searching for a singular term.

Image that says 'Search Strategies' and highlights AND, OR, and using quotation marks.

Tips for Getting Started with Research

Checklist for getting started with research:

Review the assignment

  • What is the assignment?
  • Are there any requirements?


  • Pick a topic that interests you. What do you want to learn more about?
  • What is your general topic? What are the specifics?

Find information! What do you need to know?

  • Visit the library. We're open! Check for our hours
  • Ask a librarian! We are here to help.
  • Find books and articles. An overview of your topic can help you get a better understanding of the topic in general, and help you narrow in on a specific idea or question

Focus your topic

  • Stay flexible while narrowing your thesis statement.
  • If a topic is too broad or too narrow, it will be hard to research.
  • Keep in mind: picking your topic is research too!

Remember: the research process takes time

  • It's not a linear process, and sometimes you have to repeat steps.

Questions? Ask a librarian


Library Resources

Screen shot of the library home page with the QuickSearch box highlighted. This image is also  hyperlinked and you can click on it to get access to the library homepage.

The QuickSearch lets you search our books, ebooks, and nearly all of our databases all at once. It is a great place to start your research and get a sense of what we have access to. It by no means give you access to every single piece of information available through the library, but it does give you a good snapshot of what is out there.

This is a very multidisciplinary tool and covers a wide range of subject areas. If you are doing research that is more subject specific, you will also want to take a look at our Databases too.

Screenshot of the library homepage with Books & More highlighted and the keyword search menu highlighted.

If you are looking for a particular book, or just want to see what books (both in print and available online) that we have available through Pace libraries, this is where you can start your search.

The Library Catalog searches across our holdings at both Birnbaum Library (NYC) and Mortola Library (PLV). You can use the Request option in the catalog to get books delivered from either campus.

You can also request books ahead of your visit to the library using this feature. During the Fall 2020 semester, and with respect to social distancing guidelines, we strongly encourage you to request your books ahead of time to minimize your time at the library.

For more information about requesting and borrowing library materials for Fall 2020, please see our page here:

Screenshot of the library homepage with the databases tab highlighted. The subject drop-down menu is also highlighted. This image hyperlinks to the library homepage.

If you need to do subject specific research, the Databases are the best place to look. While our QuickSearch tool can be really helpful, it can also be harder to narrow down your topic from there. So, if you know that the research you need to do is primarily on Literature, or History, or Business. you can search in a database that has information (typically scholarly, peer-reviewed articles) focused specifically on that area of interest.

Pace Libraries subscribes to a lot of databases, and navigate them in a few ways. You can explore our databases by subject by using the drop down menu, or you can select from the alphabetical list.

Screenshot of the library homepage with the research guides tab highlighted. The Browse all guides feature is also highlighted. This image hyperlinks to the browse research guides list.

Research guides are webpages with information on specific topics and subjects curated by librarians. If you're not sure where to start researching a particular topic, they can be really helpful. Not only will they give you more information on the specific databases and resources that are available to you, but they will also typically have more information on how to best use those resources as well. A librarian is assigned to each guide, and you can easily contact them if you have any additional questions.

You can browse our research guides by subject and by owner.