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ENG120: Writing for College--Sickler: Databases

Search Tips

Your project should be about your viewpoint or argument about a topic, not about reporting back about what existing sources say.  So when searching in these databases or Fox Hunt, keep the following in mind:

  • It is unlikely that you will find sources that reflect exactly what you want to argue or write about.  Do not get discouraged by this!  It means you are on the right track to presenting an original idea!
  • Sources can be used for different parts of your argument, they do not need to apply to all aspects of a argument.
  • When searching, do not type in your research question or a sentence about your topic, searching in full sentences or questions rarely works beyond Google and the idea is to select college level sources not internet sources so keep using the library databases and Fox Hunt.
  • Search Multiple Times: If your first search does not yield anything, try again!  Sometimes adding or taking out a search term changes things dramatically.
  • Search Multiple Places: Try searching in different places, some databases are better for some topics than others.
  • Be Flexible!: There may be sources that address similar themes that are not exactly about your topic but can be related. Ex: social media platforms have similar user issues and effects on users.

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