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FYS 102: Roots and Regions (Germano): Get Started


Indy downtown skyline

Skyline of Indianapolis (photo in Public Domain)


For the place you choose, your Professor has asked you to address the following:

  1. Economy
  2. Politics
  3. Culture & History
  4. Physical Geography

To gain a deep view of the place you select, consult a variety of sources, including: 

  • History and other Academic books
  • Novels and Short Stories
  • Academic (Scholarly) Journal Articles
  • News articles
  • Films & Television Shows

Worldcat (Library catalog):  Use the Advanced Search option, and see the Worldcat search tips below. *Other options for finding books are linked under the tips--scroll to the bottom to find them.

Find books, articles, media, and more at Butler and beyond

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  • In addition to the name of a city or state, try these key subject terms:  small cities, suburbs, cities and towns, city and town life, community life, rural-urban migration, neighborhoods, metropolitan areas, urban renewal, state fiction, city fiction.   Also try combining state and city names and key terms such as economy, culture, politics, etc.
  • Try the Advanced Search option, and search by by Subject for more focused results. ex:  su:cities and town
  • You can look for books worldwide and get them from another library using free interlibrary loan. If you need information right away, limit the results to "Butler University Libraries."
  • Use the Format option to limit results to Books or another type of source
  • Note:  You can also identify books by using one of the free websites below, and then look up the titles in Worldcat to find a copy.


  • Use the "Advanced Search" option in databases to help you combine keywords.
  • Databases will assign "subject terms" to articles.  If you find a great article, use the subject terms listed with the article as leads.  Example:  "cities and towns" is a helpful subject term phrase for your research.
  • Use the database's thesaurus and list of publications to identify key search terms and publications on your topic.
  • Timesaver:  Use database tools to refine or narrow your search results by date, by subject, by publication, etc. The limiter tools are often found in the left column of the search results page. 
  • Try searching multiple databases at one time (ex:  EBSCO databases).

Sites with statistics on a city's population, income, households, businesses, and more. 


  • Look for local economic development sites or a state data center website.  Many data centers are hosted by universities.
  • For articles related to a city's economy, see local newspapers and business magazines (see the Academic/News article databases listed on this LibGuide).

Use the websites below to find films and TV shows about your "place."  Also try the film databases at the bottom of this page.  Tip:  If you do not find a film/TV show related to a specific city, expand your search to a metro area, state, or region.  Or look for films/TV shows using keywords:   "cities," "towns," "urban," "rural," etc.

TIP:  Try a Google search to find a LibGuide on a city; it may have links to local news, history, politics, etc.  Search using a key phrase (ex:  "local politics"), combined with the city name and the word "LibGuide."  Example:  "local politics" Chicago LibGuide 

Google is also helpful for finding websites for state historical societies and economic development centers.


1.  Use the Advanced Search option in Google.  This allows you to get more specific search results because you can select filters such as dates, file types (ex:  ppt), and domains (ex:  .edu). You will find the Advanced Search option under "Settings" on the Google basic search screen.

2.  Use the Search Tools option that appears below the search box on the results page.  This allows you to narrow or refine your results.

3.  When searching for business information, try combining your keywords with words such as "report" or "study" to learn about research conducted on your topic.

4.  Find trade or professional associations by adding the word "association" to your business keyword search.

See the table below for other shortcuts you can use in a Google search to refine your results.

Research as Conversation

Research as Conversation


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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