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ELAR 970: Find Sources: Group Topics

Topic Resources and Searching for Sources

Some resources for African-American/Black Civil Rights:

Some possibilities for searching for biographies:

Frederick Douglass, A. Philip Randolph, Thurgood Marshall, Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. DuBois, George Washington Carver, Malcolm X, Walter White (NAACP), James Farmer (CORE), Marion Anderson (performing arts), Jackie Robinson (sports), Rosa Parks, Booker T. Washington, Mary Church Terrell..

See the box below for biography databases.

Some resources for Asian-American Civil Rights:

Some possibilities for searching for biographies:

Robert Matsui, Patsy Mink, Daniel Inouye, Larry Dulay Itliong, Philip Vera Cruz, Dalip Singh Saund, Miya Iwataki, Richard Masato Aoki, Noriko Sawada Bridges Flynn, Y.C. Hong, Yuri Kochiyama, Fred Korematsu, Alberta Lee, Karen Narasaki, Danny Seo, Shichan Siv, Takuji Yamashita....

See the box below for biography databases.

Some resources for Disability Rights:

Some possible searches for biographies:

Edward V. Roberts, Samuel Gridley Howe, Christopher Reeve, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Edward Roberts, Frank Bowe, I. King Jordan, Judy Heumann, Jacobus Broek, Paul Strachan...

See the box below for biography databases.

Some resources for LGBTQ+ Rights:

Some possible searches for biographies:

Harvey Milk, Vic Basile, Wayne Besen, Steven Donaldson, Steve Endean, Barney Frank, Barbara Gittings, Harry Hay, Brenda Howard, Frank Kameny, Craig Rodwell, Bayard Rustin, Jose Sarria, Ruth Simpson...

See the box below for biography databases.

Some resources for Latinx Rights:

Some possible searches for biographies:

Cesar Chavez, Lucy G. Acosta, Luis Alfaro, Elvira Arellano, Carlos Cardena, Sal Castro, Bert Corona, Ernesto Galarza, Hector P. Garcia, Rodolfo Gonzales, John J. Herrera, Delores Huerta, Mario G. Obledo, Baldemar Velasquez...

See below for some biography databases.

Some resources for Native American/Indigenous Peoples' Rights:

Some possible searches for biographies:

Hank Adams, Wallace "Mad Bear" Anderson, Dennis Banks, Clyde Bellecourt, Lyda Conley, Joe DeLaCruz, Deskaheh, John EchoHawk, Adam Fortunate Eagle, Billy Frank, Jr., LaDonna Harris, Russell Means, Richard Oakes, Luther Standing Bear, Sarah Winnemucca...

See the box below for biography databases.

Some resources for Women's Rights:

Some possible searches for biographies:

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Betty Friedan, Lucretia Mott, Carrie Chapman Catt, Alice Paul, Margaret Sanger,  Emma Goldman, Julia Ward Howe, Eleanor Smeal, Gloria Steinem, Lucy Stone,  Victoria Woodhull...

See the box below for biography databases.

The following tabs help explain library searching in order to more efficiently find and use sources for your research. Each covers a discrete idea.

The MC Library has access to different kinds of search tools: 

  • RaptorSearch: Searches across most of the information that you can access through the MC Library. Find books, e-books, streaming audio and video, and DVDs and CDs as well as articles and other electronic resources from databases available through the library.
  • Databases: Collections of articles, videos, images, or other types of sources. Some databases cover a wide range of subject areas or source types (multidisciplinary), while other databases are discipline or format based (e.g., PsycINFO or AP Images).

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.

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 were the major moments in the civil rights movement of the 1960s? 

Keywords: civil rights movement, major moments, 1960s

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: 

  • civil rights movement: Black rights, African-American rights
  • Major moments: milestones
  • 1960s: the sixties

Click on the research issue you're having below to see tips for addressing it:

I'm Not Finding Enough Sources

I'm Finding Too Many Sources

I'm Finding Irrelevant Sources

None of These Tips Solved My Research Issue

Not Finding Enough Sources

  • Type the word OR between related search terms to get results containing either term. Put the related search terms in parentheses.
    • Example: government and regulate and (internet or "social media")
    Diagram shows social media & internet highlighted
  • Use a truncation character (often the asterisk, *, but it can vary by search tool), which is a symbol added to the root of a word to tell the search tool that you want all forms of that word. 
    • Example: elect* will search for elect, election, elector, electoral, electorate, electing, etc.
  • Use a wildcard character (often the hash sign, #, but it can vary by search tool), which is a symbol that replaces any character in a word.
    • Example: wom#n will search for woman or women.

Finding Too Many Sources

  • Type the word AND between the main ideas in your search to get results containing all ideas.
    • Example: "civil rights" and milestones
    • Example: government and regulate and internet and "free speech"
    Diagram shows overlap between gov't & free speech

Finding Irrelevant Sources

  • Type the word NOT before a search term that you do not want your search results to contain.
    • Example: election not "united states"
    Diagram shows social media & internet highlighted
  • Type quotation marks around a specific phrase to get search results that contain only that exact phrase.
    • Example: "social media"
  • Use the search tool's filters to target search results that will meet your needs. You'll find filters on the search results screen. The exact location and filtering options varies by search tool.
    • Example: use a publication date filter to find sources published in the last five years.
    • Example: use a source type filter to find only articles or only videos.

If the options above did not help you find useful results, you may want to:

  • change your search terms,
  • select a different search tool,
  • make your topic broader or narrower, or
  • get research help from a librarian.

Research Skills & Tips:

After you've selected your search tool, identified keywords, and fixed research issues, it's time to choose your sources. It is common to get more search results than you will use, so you must evaluate the sources you find to choose the best ones for your research.

Start by scanning the search results to locate sources that fit your research question or need. The search results page will include information about each source, such as the title, year, and abstract, to help you determine its relevance.

Once you've found a source you'd like to use, evaluate its credibility by considering the evidence, source, context, audience, purpose, and execution of the source. Learn more on the Evaluate Information and Fake News guide linked below.

Research Skills & Tips:

Search Tools for ELAR 970

Search for Biographies for ELAR 970:

Academic articles, sometimes also called journal articles or scholarly articles, are relatively short publications that academic researchers use to communicate new findings and ideas to other scholars. Articles are compiled in scholarly journals, which are essentially academic magazines that come out on a schedule. Many journal articles are peer-reviewed, which means they've gone through a formal review process before being published. 

When & Why to Use Articles:

  • You need information based on research and expertise.
  • You need detailed information that focuses on a narrow topic.
  • You need to find peer-reviewed material or ensure that the information you find is accurate.

Search for Articles for ELAR 970:

Scholarly books are nonfiction books usually based on academic research done by the author or authors. They can contain multiple chapters on different aspects of a particular topic, or they can focus entirely on one concept or idea.

When & Why to Use Scholarly Books:

  • You need to understand a complex topic. Books are generally easier to read than journal articles.
  • You need very in-depth analysis of a topic.
  • You need a broad understanding of one or more topics.
  • You need a summary of existing research on a topic.

Search for Books and E-Books for ELAR 970:

MC Library has access to streaming videos and audio, as well as DVDs and CDs. Different types of video and audio include documentaries, educational videos, mainstream movies, radio interviews, and podcasts. Additionally, users have access to a variety of images that can be used in their research.

When & Why to Use Videos or Media:

  • You need to include an expert's point of view, and a documentary or podcast on your topic includes an interview.
  • You're doing a presentation and need to include a visual or audio element.
  • You need to learn a concept that is best understood visually.

Search for Videos and Media ELAR 970:

A database is essentially a compilation of resources on a particular topic or field of study. Some databases cover multiple topics, and these are called multidisciplinary databases.

When & Why to Use Multidisciplinary Databases:

  • You're unsure of which database to choose for your research.
  • Your research encompasses several different topics.
  • You're just getting started with learning how to use databases for research -- multidisciplinary databases are often easier for beginners to navigate.

Search Multidisciplinary Databases:

Find Sources

"Find Sources." Magnifying Glass.

This page will help you choose where and how to search for your sources. As you search, use the tips on this page to help you evaluate each source you find.

Journals by Title

If you want to locate a particular journal, magazine, or newspaper, instead of an individual article, use the Journals by Title feature in RaptorSearch. Search by publication title, such as Newsweek or Psychological Bulletin, or get a list of all journals on your topic by browsing through the journal categories.