B Y C R I S T Y M O R A N E M A I L C M O R A N 1 @ M D C . E D URESEARCH YOUR TOPIC
RESEARCH—GETTING STARTED1. Come up with a topic or research question2. Identify the key words of your topic or question3. Find background information on your topic –reference books4. Search library databases for information on yourtopic – start broad and then narrow down5. Advanced Search tips6. Evaluate results7. Read your articles and make notes of things youwant to include in your writing
WHAT ARE LIBRARY DATABASES?• Where you find andlocate articles:scholarly, popular,newspaper, trademagazine, etc.• Massive collectionsof research sources• General andsubject-specificcollections• Also include encyclopediasand dictionaries, e-books,magazines, scholarlyjournals, and videos.• You can access them onlineremotely and on-campus.• You can send them toyourself via email or savethem to your USB drive orbrowse them online.
DATABASES FOR ARTICLESGo to www.mdc.edu/main/library
Borrower ID is MDC Student ID #Password: Last 4 Digits of BorrowerID
BACKGROUND INFORMATION• First, you want tolearn about yourtopic – get the facts!• Use encyclopedias,dictionaries, andreference sources• Be able to:• Define your topic andrelevant terms• Understand why it’sworth writing about
SUPPORTING INFORMATIONOnce you are familiar with thefacts, look up informationabout:• Opposing viewpoints• Current scholarship andresearch• Emerging theories• Statistics and dataSearch Tips• Always useAdvanced Search• Start broad—not toospecific• Add terms if resultsare too numerous orgeneral• Results usuallyorganized by datenot relevance
USING ADVANCED SEARCH• Separate topics indifferent search rows• Start broad—seewhat’s out there first,then add terms torefine or limit yoursearch• Learn your Booleanoperators• AND• OR• NOT• Quotation marks• Wild card (asterisk) *
SEARCHING WITHBOOLEAN OPERATORS• AND – links up your search terms and tells the database to find only articles thatcontain all the terms you’ve linked• Example: Hemingway AND Wilde will return articles that are each about both Hemingwayand Wilde• OR – tells the database to find articles that contain any of the terms you’ve linedwith OR, not just ones that contain all your terms• Example: Hemingway OR Wilde will return articles about Hemingway and articles aboutWilde though each article will not necessarily be about both• NOT – excludes articles that contain whichever term you do NOT want• Example: Hemingway NOT movie might help you limit your search so the results that comeback are not those about movie versions of Hemingway’s books• Quotation marks – search exact phrases rather than individual words in a searchrow• Example: “English patient” will return results only where the words English and patient appeartogether as a phrase• Wildcard – opens your search to words that share a root or common elementwithout you typing every word out• Example: child* searches for child OR child’s OR children OR childhood
MAXIMIZE YOUR EFFORTS• Preview your articles – read the abstracts, skim theindexing for subject headings• Determine if it is likely to contain informationrelevant to your topic• Read through your articles with a highlighter or notepad handy• Check the reference list/ bibliography for interestingmaterials
LIBRARY @ NORTH CAMPUSDays Open CloseMonday-Thursday7:30a.m.9:00p.m.Friday 7:30a.m.5:00p.m.Saturday 8:00a.m.1:00p.m.Sunday CLOSEDOnline—Access on-campusand off-campushttp://www.mdc.edu/main/libraryCall us (305) 237-1183Research Guide:http://libraryguides.mdc.edu/resourcesBuilding Hours
HELP • Visit the Reference Desk• Call us at (305) 237-1183• Chat with us using Ask aLibrarian—from yourmobile phone orcomputer at home, inthe library, or elsewhere• Sunday to Thursday:10 a.m. to midnight• Friday and Saturday:10 a.m. to 5 p.m.