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FCS 3875: Appearance and Culture

For your paper, you will need to conduct a literature review

According to the Online Writing Lab (OWL)

"Literature reviews are designed to do two things:

1) give your readers an overview of sources you have explored while researching a particular topic or idea and

2) demonstrate how your research fits into the larger field of study"


Search the SPU Library Catalog for ebooks and books (request for contactless pickup). Think about keywords for the topic you developed during your preliminary searching.

For example, if you are interested in how kimonos are being used in Japan today, starting with a simple broad search of kimono will bring back many relevant results.

library catalog search box with kimono typed in

You would need sources that address the history and culture of kimonos as well, so adding those keywords (separately) would narrow your search.



Articles can provide you with specific information such as studies, expert opinion, and current news that you will use to support your thesis.

For example, maybe you are wondering whether young people use kimonos in fashion as an act of rebellion. You could look for articles that investigate this and then refer to the results in your paper.


Where are the articles?

  • To find articles in journals, magazines and newspapers, search in the  Library Databases which are huge collections of articles most of which are not available for free on the internet.


Which database should I use?

  • Open up Academic Search Complete
  • Depending on your topic, you might want to add another database to your search.
    • Click on "Choose Databases" above the search boxes.
    • Check the box for the databases you want to add. Some additional databases appropriate for this assignment are Newspaper Source, MasterFILE Premier, America History & Life,  and Business Source Complete.
    • Hit "okay" and go back to your search screen
    • Contact me for help with choosing the right databases if necessary

Academic Search Complete search engine with an arrow pointing to the "Choose Databases" link above the search boxes.

How do I search?

Search for articles using various keywords in separate search boxes. For example a search using the three search terms, kimono, fashion, modern would bring back results that show how kimonos are being reinterpreted.

Be flexible with your keywords!

Doing an additional search using the terms clothing and contemporary will bring back a different set of relevant results.



Where is the actual article?

  • Full-text HTML or PDF in the database
  • Click on “Check for full-text”
  • In print or on microfilm at the SPU Library (“SPU holds this title”)
  • University of Washington
  • Inter Library Loan

Please contact me or another librarian if you are having difficulty obtaining the full text of an article.