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AFAM 146 : The Life and Thought of Martin Luther King, Jr.

a guide to resources for researching the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Digital Humanities Librarian

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John Russell
W323 Pattee Library

Related Guides

use LionSearch to find materials in the Penn State Libraries.

Identify and Develop Your Topic

Look at your syllabus for topic ideas.

Discuss your topic ideas with your instructor or librarian.

Broad Topic

Example: Civil Rights

This topic can be narrowed to:

  • an individual 
  • civil rights organization(s)
  • a population (African Americans, Asian Americans, Women, etc.)
  • a location/geography (United States, Pennsylvania, the southern U.S., etc.)

Narrow Topic


  • Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights
  • ‚ÄčAfrican American civil rights activists in Pennsylvania
  • Civil rights organizations in New York.

Identify Keywords, Synonyms, and Related Words

Topic example: Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights.

Some keywords, synonyms, and related terms to use when researching this topic:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • civil rights
  • religion
  • poverty
  • discrimination
  • segregation
  • voting rights

Combine Keywords

Combine keywords, synonyms, and related terms with Boolean terms AND or OR when searching for books, encyclopedias, and other reference works in The CAT or LionSearch—or when searching for articles in databases.


  • Martin Luther King, Jr. AND religion
  • MLK OR Martin Luther King, Jr. AND voting rights
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. AND encyclopedias