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ENG 1320: Vastano   Tags: course guide, eng_1320, english, joseph vastano  

This is a guide for Joseph Vastano's English 1320 class.
Last Updated: Dec 18, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Database Searching


Basic Search Strategies

Search by keywords and small phrases.

Maximize your keyword searches with Boolean searching. What's Boolean?

  • And
  • Or
  • Not

Use quotation marks to search for whole phrases. 

Use the database’s built in limiting features. Some databases have a filter for full-text or scholarly journals. 

Consider truncation. The symbol used is usually *. Typing in creat* will result in results containing: create, creating, creators, creation, creatures, etc. 

Try using the database’s subject terms. Those are listed in the database’s thesaurus, or they may be listed near the article abstract.


Evaluating Your Sources

Selection and Evaluation of Resources: Selecting materials to use in your paper requires careful evaluation of each item you have collected. Critical thinkers analyze the data they've retrieved. Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself:

       * Have you selected materials published by well respected, mainstream publishers or journals? 
* OR have you selected unreliable sources such as a blog or websites like Wikipedia?

Wikipedia may be OK to use for gathering background information but should not be used as a source for your assignment. Anyone can put information on the web but databases contain articles from scholarly journals and other respected publications. The library buys subscriptions to databases and periodicals so you can have trusted information to use for your research rather than unreliable, questionable information you may find on the World Wide Web.

For more information about Evaluation of Web Resources see our Web searching and evaluating websites handout.

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