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LTS 200: Latina/o America: Getting Started

Start Your Research at the Library!

Use this guide to get started with your research for LTS 200: Latina/o America: A Critical Introduction to Latina/o Studies!

The Final Keyword Essay

Your assignment is to use a minimum of one essay from Sections I and II of LTS 200 and one essay from Sections III and IV of LTS 200, as well as one additional scholarly source to write a definitional essay that summarizes, compares/contrasts, and reflects on a keyword in Latino Studies.

Your essay may include an introduction to the keyword, its origins and usage, signal figures, texts and/or contexts. Make sure to address issues of scope and content related to your keyword. How wide a net does this definition cast? What does this definition include/exclude?

Note: Please review assignment guidelines posted on Canvas.


  • Your essay should be 3-4 pages in length, double-spaced, using Times New Roman font (12pt), justified type, and stapled. Submit your essay in a folder that includes your class notes. 
  • Use a minimum of three secondary sources, two that you have read in class and one additional source that you find on your own.  
  • Cite sources in the bibliography using the MLA style guide. See also the Collins Library quick MLA citation guide for commonly used types of sources.

Getting Started with Subject Encyclopedias

The value of using encyclopedias is in the beginning stages of the research process. Encyclopedias come in two varieties: general and subject.

General encyclopedias are good for quickly looking up basic facts about a topic. Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book are all examples of general encyclopedias.

Subject encyclopedias are best to use when you are in the first stages of a college-level research project.  Each entry is written by a scholar in the field. The scholar aims to provide not just the basic facts on a topic, but also a sense of how these facts have been debated or interpreted over time. The sources in the bibliographies are selected specifically as next steps to consult in the research process and typically include a mix of primary and secondary sources. Subject encyclopedias provide:

  • broad overview of a topic that is more in-depth than in general encyclopedias
  • Discussion of how scholars have approached, explored, and debated the topic over time (historiography)
  • words, phrases, names, dates, and events that can be used as keywords when searching a database
  • bibliographies in articles to find other sources (both primary and secondary)
  • cross-references to find related topics

Featured Subject Encyclopedias

FEATURED RESOURCE: Oxford Bibliographies Online

Oxford Bibliographies in Latino Studies


"An emerging field of study that explores the Hispanic minority in the United States, Latino Studies is enriched by an interdisciplinary perspective. Historians, sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, demographers, linguists, as well as religion, ethnicity, and culture scholars, among others, bring a varied, multifaceted approach to the understanding of a people whose roots are all over the Americas and whose permanent home is north of the Rio Grande. Oxford Bibliographies in Latino Studies offers an authoritative, trustworthy, and up-to-date intellectual map to this ever-changing discipline."



Humanities Librarian

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Katy Curtis
Office: Collins Library 140

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