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PAID 112 Section 18: Thompson, D. (Spring 2022)


In This Guide

In this guide, you'll find:

  • Resources and strategies for your section's research unit:
    • Recommended reference sources for background readings
    • Recommended databases for finding scholarly articles
    • Library catalog for finding books
    • Recommended collections of Primary Sources
  • Contact information for your librarian


Note that often the terms immigration, immigrants, migration and migrants are used interchangeably. When doing research remember that immigration refers to a movement between nations whereas migration is a movement within a nation. For the U.S. experience, immigrants are often also part of migrant populations (which are often referred to as seasonal laborers). International immigrants face legal/judicial issues as temporary immigrants with special visas or no visas (often referred to as illegal aliens or undocumented aliens).

Brainstorm Keywords

Use some basic questions to help you brainstorm keywords, or search terms, for your topic.

  • Who is involved? Who is affected?
  • Are there key figures related to your topic?
  • What are the key issues and questions surrounding your topic?
  • Are there key dates associated with your topic? When did major events related to your topic happen? 
  • Are you focused on a particular period of history?
  • Is there a geographic location that is important to your topic? 
  • Can you focus your topic on a particular location?
  • How will you find out about your topic? Do you need primary sources?
  • Is there a particular methodology associated with the kind of research you'll be doing?
  • Why are you interested in your topic? Why should others be interested?

When you have a list of keywords, take a second pass through it and try to come up with synonyms or related terms.

Subject Headings

Books at Preus Library are organized using categories (subject headings) developed by the Library of Congress. These subject headings are extremely useful in locating books and articles as KEYWORDS searches.  Examples of subject headings:

Illegal Aliens -- Education

Emigration and immigration

Alien labor Illegal Aliens     

Agricultural laborers -- [United States] --History

[Mexico] -- Emigration and immigration

[Iowa] --Emigration and immigration

Alien labor, [Asian] -- United States

[Brazil] -- Emigration and immigration -- History

Immigrants -- [United States] -- Government Policy

IMPORTANT: Ethnic groups or geographical locations can be substituted for other groups or locations.

Some names and organizations can also be used in subject searches.

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