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ENGL 101 - Montgomery Bus Boycott - Blaker

This guide will support Prof. Rhona Baker's ENGL 101 course and their research assignment on the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

How To Find Academic Articles in a Database

If you have a topic you would like to explore, you will want to develop keywords to search the library databases. You can create keywords by determining the main ideas in your research question or topic.


My claim is that non-violent protest in the US, learned from Gandhi, was an effective tool during the Montgomery bus boycott.

From my topic, I need to look at WHAT is important, WHO I'm talking about, and WHERE & WHEN it is happening. My keywords can be:

WHAT: non-violent protest and bus boycott ;  WHO: civil rights organizers and protesters ; WHERE: Montgomery or Alabama ; WHEN: 1950s - 1960s or Civil Rights era

You can build your keyword list from these words. Consider:

  • civil rights, Black rights, freedom, activism, social movement, human rights
  • protest, sit-in, demonstration, boycott, civil disobedience, campaign
  • nonviolence or non-violence, passive resistance, pacifist

You can also check subject terms for each item:

Example Search in the OneSearch Database:

  1. Enter your keywords, in my example "protest montgomery (nonviolence or non-violence)" in the search box. Select the magnifying glass icon to search.


2. For academic or scholarly articles, use the "peer-reviewed articles" filter under "Refine my results". This will remove any sources that are not academic and peer-reviewed from your results list.


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