Using Academic Search Premier: A Beginner's Guide to Library Research

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This presentation is an introduction to research vocabulary and strategies. The target audience is students enrolled in WRIT095: Developmental Writing at Montana State University Great Falls. Download the presentation for audio.

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Using Academic Search Premier: A Beginner's Guide to Library Research

  1. 1. Using Academic Search Premier: A Beginner’s Guide to Library Research<br />This presentation was developed for <br />WRIT 095: Developmental Writing at<br />Montana State University Great Fallsby Jana Carter during the Fall 2009 semester<br />
  2. 2. Game plan<br />Get your ideas on paper before you begin looking for information. Write an outline, make a mind map, or take extensive notes before you hit the library!<br />
  3. 3. What is an index or database?<br />Like any list of contacts, but searchable by any criteria you can think of (keyword, author, title, subject, date, publication, to name a few)<br />The Library’s databases provide full-text articles from publications from all over the world<br />The Library’s databases also provide a pre-screened content – you don’t have to worry about whether it’s true, only about whether it’s relevant to your paper<br />
  4. 4. What it looks like<br />
  5. 5. Anatomy of Academic Search Premier<br />Search boxes. There are three blank fields in which you will enter your search terms.<br />Search Options. There are check boxes and dropdown menus to help you set limiters and expanders.<br />
  6. 6. Search terms and limiters<br />A search term is a word related to your topic<br />Look for the intersection of your search terms<br />Be flexible – look for synonyms, fewer terms, more terms, or use the subject terms that the database suggests if you’re not getting good results<br />Narrow the search by setting limiters – set the source type, publication year, or full-text options to modify results<br />
  7. 7. Choosing search terms<br />In this case, the search terms are too vague<br />In this case, the search terms are more specific<br />
  8. 8. Accessing the Indexes & Databases<br />Follow these hops to get to Academic Search Premier<br />Start at the Weaver Library’s Indexes & Databases homepage, http://library.msugf.edu/IndexesDatabases.html, then click Academic Search Premier, and click View site.<br />If you’re planning on working at home, stop by the Library so that the staff can set you up with a Proxy account! <br />
  9. 9. Refining search results<br />It’s essential to stay flexible! Look for synonyms, fewer terms, more terms, or use the subject terms that the database suggests if you’re not getting good results<br />Brainstorm with a classmate! Talking through your ideas may give you a useful perspective and good ideas<br />Ask for help when you get stuck! Both your instructor and the Library’s staff are old hands – asking is relatively painless<br />

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