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.

Step-by-Step Guide & Research Rescue: Women's Rights

This guide will help you understand how to efficiently and effectively do basic research.

Step 1. Locate Women's Rights Background Information

This guide leads you through the research process for Academic Freedom topics. For general tips on the research process, click on the Basic Research Strategy tab above.

Related Subject Guide - Women's Studies


For Specialized print encyclopedias, use the Social Sciences/Education Reference collection, Level 1:

  • Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties (Soc Sci Ref KF 4747.5 .E53 2006)
  • Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender (Soc Sci Ref HQ 16 .E52 2007)
  • From Suffrage to the Senate: an Encyclopedia of American Women in Politics (Soc Sci Ref HQ 1236.5 .U6 S32 1999)
  • Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women: Global Women's Issues and Knowledge (Soc Sci Ref HQ 1115 .R69 2000)
  • The Human Rights Encyclopedia (Soc Sci Ref JC 571 .L523 2001)
  • Women and Equality in the Workplace: A Reference Handbook (Soc Sci Ref H 1. C65x 2003f)
  • Women In Islam (Soc Sci Ref H 1 .A8x 2005a)
  • Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia (Soc Sci Ref HQ 1115 .W6 1999)
  • Women In Prison: A Reference Handbook (Soc Sci Ref H 1 .C65x 2003a)
  • Women's Studies Encyclopedia (Soc Sci Ref HQ 1115 .W645 1999)- available online through ebrary; to access use the Books & Moresearch

For Specialized online encyclopedias, use the following databases. For subject specific background resources, use the Women's Studies Subject Guide.

Step 2. Develop & Narrow Your Topic

After reading Background Resources, you should be able to fill out the following "From Topic to Research Focus" formula.  NOTE: This is NOT the same as your Thesis Statement.  Your Thesis Statement is developed after you read Research Materials about your issue/question, determine your stance, and decide how you will present your attitude/angle/argument. For examples of how to use the "From Topic to Research Focus" rubric, click on the Develop and Narrow Topic tab at the top of this page.

1)  I am researching ______________________________________ (topic)
2)  because I want to find out _______________________________  (issue/question)
3)  in order to ____________________________________________ (application)

Organize your Research Focus into concepts: identify terms, think of synonyms, and organize them using this chart.

(Concept 1) _______________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 1)

AND (Concept 2) ___________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 2)

AND (Concept 3) ___________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 3)

Step 3. Find Research Materials for Women's Rights topics

For Books use the Books & More search to find specific titles from the bibliographies you noted above. Use the Books & More - Advanced Search to find additional books on your issue question. Referring back to the concept chart above, enter your keyword search, one concept for each box.

For Articles use the Articles & More - Advanced Search selecting Collection: Social Sciences. Referring back to the concept chart above, enter your keyword search, one concept for each box. Click Go to begin the search. Click on the title of the article to read the abstract. Click the Full Text Available and Check for Full Text to view the entire article.

To retrieve additional articles, connect to the databases linked below, or select them from Databases A-Z in the Databases & Journals box on the Library Home Page. Depending on how you have narrowed your subject, other databases listed on the Women's Studies Subject Guide may also be appropriate.

Steps 4 & 5: Evaluating Research Materials & Writing Your Paper

For tips on Evaluating Research Materials & Writing Your Paper, click on the Basic Research Strategy tab above.