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BIO 315 Ethno, Forensic, and Medical Botany: Ethnobotany Research

Braiding Sweetgrass Ebook

Finding More Good Sources

Always check the works cited/references of the helpful sources you have found already to see if they lead you to other a little bit older helpful sources. You can also search your best article's title in Google Scholar where you can see what more recent sources have cited your source. 


Databases to Try Searching In

Start With These

More Focused Databases

Be Curious & Make Your Question Smaller

  • Research starts with questions, not answers.
  • Be curious about your plant (how it has been used and by whom). For this paper, remember to focus on only one ethnolinguistic group.
  • Break down your paper into a series of very small questions (this is a less overwhelming way to do research).
  • Think about what kinds of sources you will need to answer your very small questions (rather than sources for your whole paper).

Little Questions From Your Assignment Guidelines

  • Where did this plant originate?
  • Who has used the plant?
  •  What have they used it for and for how long?
  • How has information about this plant been passed down?
  • How has this plant been traded or monetized?
  • Who has benefited from the economics surrounding the plant?
  • To what extent is the plant cultivated or collected from natural populations? What is the status of the natural populations?
  • What is the ecology of the plant?
  • Whom is it taxonomically related to?
  • What is its ecology? Where does it grow and how?
  • What does it look like? How do we distinguish it from other similar species?
  • What research has been done previously on this species? How credible was it? What did they find?