You might optionally look for secondary, scholarly sources about historical events, periods, people, or social conditions depicted in the text you are researching. Again, you can identify primary and alternate search terms that reflect those things. Imagine once more the researcher interested in Louise Erdrich's "Dear John Wayne," and their continued exploration of the conflicts between Native Americans and white settlers depicted in the movie within the poem. In looking for secondary sources they might choose search terms such as:
- Native Americans, American Indians, First Nations
- Settlers, European Americans, Anglo-Americans, U.S. Army, soldiers, cavalry
- Battle, conflict, wars
At the heart of thinking of search terms is the idea of anticipating what words might appear in an article about your topic. Unlike primary source research, you'll want to think of words that are in use today.