The MC Library has access to different kinds of search tools:
Use the tabs in the box below to find suggested databases or other search tools to use for a variety of types of sources.
MC students, faculty, and staff can access all of our search tools and online resources from on or off-campus. Use your MC ID (with the letter M) to log in.
Research Skills & Tips:
Unlike Google, library databases can't understand an entire sentence. You'll need to break your topic down into the most important ideas: the keywords.
Keywords are individual words or short phrases that represent the main ideas in your topic, thesis, or research question.
Example Question: What is the history of the Diego Garcia island as a naval base?
Keywords: Diego Garcia, island, naval base
After you've identified your main ideas and some keywords to start with, think of additional search terms for each concept. These can be synonyms, related ideas, broader terms, or narrower terms. Since a database will match only what you type, using different terms for similar ideas can help you find more articles.
Example Search Terms:
Now that you have identified keywords, you will combine them in the database search box. Try more than one combination to find different sources!
Use the search operators AND & OR to combine your search terms. Use quotation marks to search for a specific phrase, with the words in that exact order: "social media"
|Use AND between your main ideas to narrow your search (all words will be found in each source):
|Use OR to look for related search terms, in one search (at least one of the search words will be found in each source). This will increase the number of sources you find. Put related search terms in parentheses, and combine with other terms:
Research Skills & Tips:
To make your results more manageable, use the database filters to refine the search results by full-text access, source types, publication date, and other factors that serve your research purposes.
These options may be located in different areas of the database results list. In RaptorSearch, the options will be on the left.
You can also set these options before you search from the Advanced Search screen in most databases.
Most database search results will be sorted by relevance. You can change this to sort by newest first, oldest first, etc. Look for the sort options near the top of the results list.
Databases for Author Information:
When & Why to Use Scholarly Books:
Where to Go in the Library for Books on History?
General books on World History are organized chronologically in the section labeled "D." World History in the 20th century is covered in the sections D410 to D860.
Books in sections DA - DZ are organized by geography first, then chronologically by time period.
Books on American history are in the section labeled "E." American history in the 20th century is in sections E740 to E909.
Browse the library shelves in these call number areas to find materials relating to the history of each region.
D 1 - 2009 History, general
DA 1 - DR 2285 History of Europe
DE 1 - 100 History of the Greco-Roman World
DS 1 - 937 History of Asia
DT 1 - 3415 History of Africa
DU 1 - 950 History of Oceania
E 11 - 143 History of America
F 1 - 975 History of the United States
F 1201 - 3799 History of Latin America
Search directly in the MC Library Catalog to find a book:
To find e-books in the MC Library Catalog: Enter your search terms. On the results screen, select "Electronic Books" on the right side.
Research Skills & Tips:
Articles and Book Reviews in Academic Journals:
Also known as scholarly articles, or academic articles. Some journal articles are "peer reviewed," which means they've gone through an extra review process before being published.
When & Why to Use Journal Articles:
You can find very short reviews (usually one paragraph) in Books in Print, but these are not from scholarly journals. If you cannot find a review anywhere else, sometimes a reference to a review is listed on Title Reviews page in Books in Print.
Reviews from magazines like Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, or School Library Journal are intended for librarians and booksellers that are purchasing books for their library or bookstore.
Investigate the Historical Period in More Sources:
Newspapers are another good source of articles and reviews on current topics.
Primary sources are original materials from people who have a direct connection with the event being investigated. Examples include speeches, diaries, letters, images, artwork, interviews, music, or other items created during the time of the event.
When & Why to Use Primary Sources
The MC Library has access to streaming videos and audio (as well as DVDs and CDs). You can find documentaries, educational videos, and mainstream movies.
When & Why to Use Videos:
To find sources, start by thinking about your research questions and the type of information you need. For example, you may need to search in different places to find statistics than you would if you need to find images.
This page provides tips for how to develop a search strategy, and also links to search tools you can use to find specific types of sources.
As you search, consider the tips on the Evaluating Sources page, and assess each article, book, website or other source that you find.