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.
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 purpose of the U.S. Constitution and why is it important for our government?
Keywords: U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, constitutional amendments, founding fathers, federalism, separation of powers, and checks and balances
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 enter them in your chosen search tool's 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 limit your search results. For example:
These options may be found in different locations of a database’s results page. In RaptorSearch, filter options are found 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.
MC Library's research guides are built by MC librarians to help students use library resources for a wide variety of academic subjects. The research guides linked below may be helpful to you if you would like to learn more about Constitution Day.