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East Asian Studies: EA278


Images: Ravi Varma, Shakuntala;  Kitagawa Utamaro, Flowers of Edo; James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot, A Woman of Ambition; Qing dynasty woodcut illustrating Dream of the Red Chamber; Samurai on Horseback, (1878)  All images from Wikimedia Commons.


Think Strategically about Your Research


  • Use terminology and facts learned from the background information to search for articles in the Bibliography of Asian StudiesAcademic Search Complete and other databases at right. Articles present an argument on a particular aspect of a topic, not facts alone.

  • Search for books in any of Colby's catalogs, expanding your search with subject linking. The longer form of a book provides greater breadth of general information or greater depth of argument.

  • Investigate the notes and bibliographies of every good source you find for leads to more

  • Think about what sorts of publications the information you need might be published in

If you need help with anything, don't hesitate to contact me:                              


Use Reference Sources to look for...

  • definitions
  • historical context
  • biographical information



Use scholarly journals to learn what arguments are being made in the area of your research and to help hone your own argument.

Scholarly journals...

  • report original research in a specific discipline
  • typically contain peer reviewed articles           

To identify a scholarly journal article, look for...

  • an abstract
  • in-text citations
  • a bibliography


Don't neglect reference books, shelved around the new reading room that looks toward the chapel. 

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture   REF DS779.23 .E5 2005  has an article on "Language and Gender."

Japan  (in the series, Asia in Focus)  REF DS821 .E5127 2009 The focus of this book is culture, with economics and politics covered, too. Lists of citations throughout and at the back of the volume are up to date through the early years of this century. 

Encyclopedia of Gender and Society   REF HQ115 .E54 2009  Look up the article on "Language, Gender Differences."

Sex from Plato to Paglia: A Philosophical Encyclopedia  REF HQ12 .S423 2006 has an article on "Language."

The first segment of each of these call numbers will help you find good places to browse in the main stacks, too.



Tips for Using EBSCO databases:

  1.  Take advantage of folders and the ability to export citations 
  2.  Use search limits to refine your results
  3.  Explore special features such as MLA's Names as Subjects and Historical Abstract's chronologies under Clio Notes.
  4.  Add Subject Terms to narrow your search by topic.
  5.  NEVER GIVE UP! Almost every article will be available to you either online or through Interlibrary Loan (My ILLiad Account). If something looks good to you, be persistent in your hunt.


Using Citations: 

EXAMPLE of Chicago Style on a Works Cited page for an article retrieved from a database:

DuBois, Thomas. "Asia and the Old Wolrd Order." History Today 63,no.3 (2013): 12-19. Accessed February 16, 2014.

thus the formula is:

Author. "Title of Article." Title of Journal  volume #. issue # (year): page numbers. Date of access [month day, year]. [Stable URL or DOI.]

MORE EXAMPLES and explanations at Purdue's OWL site:     and at Hacker: History 


To request books from Bates, Bowdoin, or Colby Storage.

            Click where the arrow points; then fill in the form that appears with your name and the barcode number on the back of your Colby ID.


Search the CBB Collections:


Advanced Search

Expand your search to include articles by using OneSearch

Extend your search to libraries worldwide with WorldCat

How To : Requesting Books Through CBBcat

How to sign up for ILLiad

For Help Using the Library Website



1. After you do an initial keyword search in a catalog or database, examine the Subject lines for helpful vocabulary. These lines are hot-linked to all other records in the system that have that same subject.

2. Remember searching tricks: confuci* = Confucius, Confucian, Confucianism ; "Asian values" searches that exact phrase ; "economic miracle" AND Asia searches for records with both these terms. Adding NOT southeast eliminates articles on southeast Asia from your results.

3. Too many or too few results? Add more search terms, experiment with different words that have similar meanings, or broaden out your search. A general book on Confucius / Confucianism will probably have a section on women in Confucian thought and the history of scholarship on this topic. Use the index!

4. Notes and bibliographies! Remember to look for and use these. They will guide you in discovering the work done to date on any topic.



Search databases for newspaper, magazine & journal articles:

  • JSTOR general collection of scholarly journals


Subject Searches in various databases, e.g.: 

Suggested Keyword Searches:

Use subject headings for finding books at Colby. Examples:


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