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GQS 201: Intro to Gender, Queer, and Feminist Studies

Finding Articles and Book Chapters

For your upcoming assignment, you'll need to identify, read, analyze, and review one scholarly (peer-reviewed) article or book chapter that demonstrates a queer theoretical approach to a topic of your choosing.

Not sure where to start?  Here are three broad strategies that you can try:

  • Browse key journals for Gender & Queer Studies
  • Search a subject database, such as the Gender Studies Database
  • Search Primo for print and ebooks related to your topic

Featured Journals

Transgender Studies Quarterly

If you're not sure yet what you're interested in, or you're interested in so many different aspects of queer theory that you can't decide where to focus, you might want to just browse through scholarly journals to see what catches your eye. Collins Library subscribes to several scholarly journals in the field, including the journals listed below.

Practice: Select one title below to browse and respond to the following questions with your table groups.

  • What topics, texts, or ideas are covered in these journals?
  • Can you identify any popular themes or topics related to queer theory?
  • Besides scholarly articles, what else is contained in the journals?
  • Write down 1-2 topics you're interested in "queering."

Search the Gender Studies Database

Like most other disciplines, GQS has a subject-specific database, called the Gender Studies Database. Subject databases index scholarly materials (books, chapters in books, scholarly articles, dissertations) that will be of interest to researchers within that discipline. GSD covers the full spectrum of gender-engaged scholarship inside and outside academia. 

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of Gender Studies, there are many other databases that may be useful to utilize for your research. Recommended subject databases for other disciplines can be found on the "articles" tab in each library subject guide.

For this assignment, you'll want to limit your results to just articles or books. Click on the "check for full text" link to see if Collins Library has the journal or you need to order it through interlibrary loan.

Search Primo

Search Collins+Summit+Articles

Searching for Books (and eBooks!)

Use Primo to find resources on your topic at Collins Library and beyond. 

  • When you find an item that seems relevant, look at its subject terms to find similar items. To do this, check the "Item Details" and simply click on one of the subject headings listed in the record for the book; the next screen will list all the books that share this subject term. For this assignment, "Queer theory" is an enormously useful subject term for identifying scholarly books and articles using this approach.
  • To find the library location of a book's call number, check the library map.
  • To find eBooks, use the filters on the right to limit your results to eBooks (under "Resource Type")

General Database Search Tips

Try these strategies to become a better, more efficient searcher -- and help you find articles that you can actually use:

  • Build your search vocabulary -- keep a running list of key words, phrases, concepts, synonyms, and any related terms or ideas that you find.
  • Use advanced search features -- narrow your search with "AND," expand your search with "OR," or search in specified fields (i.e., author, title, publication, abstract).
  • Use search limits -- control the types of results you get (academic journals? language?) and how they are displayed (date? relevance?) so that you're only looking at results you can use.
  • Try multiple searches and evaluate your results -- try to figure out why you got the results you did, and adjust your search until you get closer to results you can use.
  • Use database descriptors -- once you find an article that looks good, see what descriptors or "subject headings" were assigned to it in the database. You can use these to search only for articles that have the same descriptors attached.


For any research project, you will want to use a variety of sources, both in type and points of view. Assignments may have requirements regarding the genres of sources you may use (academic, popular, etc.), formats (print, online, etc.), and publication dates (current, relevant, timely, etc.). No matter the topic, having a variety of sources is necessary to explore your research question.

After you have identified what types of sources you will use for your research, you will want to identify how you can use them. All source types might be appropriate for a research project based on how you use the source.

To figure out how to use a source, you should use the BEAM method developed by Joseph Bizup. BEAM stands for BACKGROUND, EXHIBIT, ARGUMENT, METHOD.

BACKGROUND: using a source to provide general information to explain a topic. For example, using an encyclopedia article on the history of anime to highlight changes to the genre over time provides background context for your research.

EXHIBIT: using a source as evidence or examples to analyze. In a literature paper, for example, this might be a short story you are analyzing. For a film studies paper, this might be a film you analyze.

ARGUMENT: using a source to engage with the argument it presents. For example, you might use a newspaper editorial about climate change to reiterate and support or refute its claims in your own paper.

METHOD: using the way a source analyzes and issue to apply to your own issue. For example, you might use a particular theoretical framework, definitions, and/or conclusions of a study about political affiliations of different demographics in Los Angeles with like demographics in New York City. 

Works Cited: Bizup, Joseph. “BEAM: A Rhetorical Vocabulary for Teaching Research-Based Writing.” Rhetoric Review, vol. 27, no. 1, Jan. 2008, pp. 72–86. EBSCOhost,


Reading a Scholarly Article

During the preview phase, you'll want to concentrate on these key elements:

  • Abstract (if available)
  • First paragraph (sometimes the second paragraph, too): What does the author want to find out? What is the research question the author is asking?
  • Evidence: What are the primary sources the author uses?
  • Scholarly conversation: What are the other scholarly works (secondary sources) the author uses?
  • Conclusion (typically the last paragraph): How does the author tie the evidence together to answer the research question? What is the significance of this research?

Once you've selected the article, you can actively read for content, argument, analysis and evaluation. 

Tip: Read the article more than once! It may help to print out a copy so that you can make notes.

Tipasa: Interlibrary Loan

If your article is not available at Collins Library, you've got another option for getting it. Use Tipasa, our interlibrary loan service.

Tipasa is linked to your library account so you'll need to log in to use it.

Once you are logged in, either go directly to Tipasa and manually enter the information, or, if you're using a database, look for a shortcut link to automatically fill out the form:

Interlibrary Loan Link

Allow at least a week for the article to come. If your article is delivered in electronic format, you'll receive an email with a link to follow as soon as it's arrived.