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HIST 3394 - Mexican Expulsions in the U.S.

Search Tips

Not sure how to construct the right kind of search for finding specific eras, events, or people?  Try to focus your search on three keyword concepts:  Event, Text, and Topic.  See examples below.


  • Start with the general event, and then narrow it down to specifics (dates, locales, etc.)
  • Look for key people involved
  • United Farm Workers movement
  • California
  • 1960s
  • Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta
  • Primary sources
  • Secondary sources
  • Letters, historical newpapers, Congressional publications (Historical newspapers,  Hispanic American newspapers, ProQuest Congressional)
  • Biographies, scholarly articles, historiography (Handbook of Latin American Studies, America: History & Life, JSTOR)
Topic Use a topic related to your central argument, such as:
  • Event(s)
  • Country
  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Economy or Trade
  • Exploration
  • Farm workers, braceros
  • Migrant worker protests
  • Catholic church
  • Immigration reform
  • Agriculture and harvesting
  • NAFTA, border control

Then, think about how you can combine your keywords using AND or OR.

So how does this translate?  Let's say you were writing a paper the origins of the immigration and deportation debate. Some of the searches you could try include:

  • "Cesar Chavez" AND "United Farm Workers"
  • "border control" AND "undocumented aliens"

Quotation Marks

Use these to limit your search to an exact phrase.

Example: "Bracero Program" limits your search to the topic. (**Try Googling your name, or your professor's name, with and without question marks around the name).


You can use truncation to search for all the endings of a word in one search. Most search tools use the asterisk (*), but some use and exclamation point (!) or dollar sign ($). Check the help function if your search isn't working.

Example: deport* searches for deported, deportation, deportee, deportability, etc.

Combining Search Terms

In "Advanced Search," you can connect search terms the following ways:

AND - narrows your search results by looking for two (or more) keywords at the same time.
Example:  "mexico" AND "braceros" gets results that include both terms. Add a third term, for example, AND "deport*" to get even more specific results. (Note that "deport" has an asterisk - this gives you all variations of the word (see Truncation below).

OR - expands your search results by searching for more than one keyword at a time.
Example: "latino" OR "chicano" searches for results that include either term.

Tip: use ONE search term per search box.


A wildcard lets you search for different letters in a word. This can be useful to search for plurals and alternate spellings. A question mark is used in place of the letter.

Example: "wom?n" searches for "woman," "women," and "womyn."