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ENG118: Writing about Home: Finding books and articles

Fall 2015: A. Cuellar

Find Statistics and Data

Evaluating Information

Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply and Questions to Ask (Univ. of California Berkeley)

Evaluating Web Sites: Criteria and Tools (Cornell University)

Evaluating Internet Resources (Johns Hopkins University) - Covers authorship, publishing body, currency.

Using Primary Sources on the Web: Evaluating Primary Source Websites (Instruction & Research Services Committee, Reference and User Service Association History Section, American Library Association)

Article databases

Search tips and techniques

1)  Phrase searching -- use either quotation marks (Discover) or parentheses (Five Colleges catalog)

“housing discrimination” = anything with the phrase “housing discrimination”

 2)  Boolean searches – invented by a man with an aesthetically ugly last name, these searches allow you to find citations while often weeding out what you don’t need.  The two main operators are AND and OR, and they work precisely the opposite way you’d imagine. 

 Example #1:        “housing discrimination” and race = anything that has both terms in the article

 Example #2:        race or ethnicity = any source with either term

3)    Truncation – this technique entails lopping off the end of a word and replacing it with a wildcard sign:    *          ?          $

 Example:     ethnic* = ethnic, ethnicity 

 Example:     Internal truncation is also handy.  Use a ? for when you want to replace just one letter within a word:  wom?n = woman, women

 3)   Subject headings and descriptors – these will be your best friends in a database.  They will lead to major concepts that you can search with and describe your topic.

4)   Limit your search – if you get hundreds of results, use “narrow results by” options, along with subject headings/thesaurus terms to pare down your results.