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Guide to Asian Studies  

Last Updated: Jun 6, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Association of Asian Studies


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Asian Studies at St. Olaf

Follow these links for information about opportunities for studies about Asia:

  • Meet the Faculty and Staff who have special interest in studies regarding Asian history and culture
    • Check out the Courses that relate to Asian studies

    Researching Asian Studies at St. Olaf

    There are a wealth of materials available on topics of interest to Asian Studies students at St. Olaf.  Follow the tabs above to gather background materials from general reference resources, books, journal articles, statistics, governement documents and websites as appropriate. 

    Each class has its own tailored guide under the Research Guides for Individual Classes.

    As always, don't hesitate to brainstorm with a reference librarian about your topics or research needs.  Use the IM widget in the lower right-hand corner or the links to phone and email information in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

    Rolvaag Reference desk hours are as follows:

    Monday - Thursday
    10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
    10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    1:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.
    7p.m. - 10 p.m.

    Playing Around with Your Topic!


    It's the "Google" of St. Olaf/Carleton Libraries...  Want to test out your topic?  See what comes up?  See what people (mostly scholars) are talking about?  Access over a BILLION (really) items through Bridge², including books, films, and music, full text articles, newspapers, book reviews, and more.

    Find it on the Libraries Home Page.  Find details on what you'll be searching and coming up with on the Bridge² LibGuide.


    Searching on Region-based Topics


    * Because Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary approach to subject matter, one should always search for materials from a geographical perspective and a topical/disciplinary perspective. This means you might look for material on Asian music both in an index to music journals as well as an index to Asian Studies journals.

    * Because this is a senior seminar, your topics will be more narrowly focused than when you did introductory research in the area. However, tertiary sources (encyclopedias and handbooks) and bibliographies may still prove to be very useful. You may want to skip them initially to jump right into primary or secondary literature; then come back to fill in gaps in statistics, chronologies, citations for specific topic areas, etc.

    * As always, you must take care to evaluate your material. Who wrote/posted it? What are their credentials? Is the material from an academic (scholarly publisher or .edu site on the web) or proprietary source (commercial publisher or .com site)? Is the material current for the topic? If a website, when was it last updated? Is that important? Etc.



    Creating A Search Strategy


    Select a topic and state it in the form of a question or hypothesis.
    Identify the main ideas in your question or hypothesis
    Select key words or terms in your hypothesis.
    Think of possible synonyms for these terms.
    Now, formulate a search strategy using Boolean logic. Remember to use:

    OR to allow the search to retrieve any one, but not necessarily all, of your terms
    This will BROADEN your search.

    AND to specify all the terms/ideas which must appear in the retrieved record.
    This will NARROW your search.

    Think about which disciplines might be interested in your topic.  It is useful to search for materials from geographical, topical/disciplinary (i.e. political science, economics, sociology) perspectives. This means if you are asking how the treatment of women in Vietnam encourages or discourages development, you might look for resources focused on Vietnam, women and/or families, political science, public affairs, economics, and sociology. Widen the lens to sources on Asia, if necessary.  Use these areas of interest to choose the journal databases  to find articles.

    Asian Studies Librarian

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    Kris MacPherson

    Instant Message a Reference Librarian


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