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American Dream--Engl 45: Home

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Search Terms

When searching the library databases and the Web, be specific in your terms. Rather than searching "American Dream," try being more specific.

  • "American dream" education
  • "American dream" economic class
  • "American dream" race

 

Evaluating Your Sources

You need to be sure that you are using the best possible sources of information. You will likely find a variety of sources during your research: books, articles, Web documents, interviews, films, and more.  For each and every source you use you want to make sure it passed the CRAAP test

Currency - Is the content presented current enough for your project? For your specific research question?

Relevancy - Does it answer your research question?

Authority - Does the author have relevant expertise on the topic about which she is writing?

Accuracy - Is the information provided correct?

Point of View - Is the information biased? Is the author trying to persuade you to believe a certain way?

Watch the brief video below to learn more about the CRAAP Test:

Research 101: Need More Research Help?

If you'd like much more in-depth instruction about the process of conducting research, please check out our guides:

Read background information

Define your topic--What do you mean by the American Dream? 

According to the New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, the American Dream is "A phrase connoting hope for prosperity and happiness, symbolized particularly by having a house of one's own. Possibly applied at first to the hopes of immigrants, the phrase now applies to all except the very rich and suggests a confident hope that one's children's economic and social condition will be better than one's own."

What is your definition? For help thinking through this topic, try these sources:

Use LibGuides for links to sources

Finding information on the Web

Before searching the Web, think about agencies or organizations that are likely to collect and publish the information you seek.

For guidance on searching the Web, see Google for Researchers.

Additionally, below are links to some potentially useful Web sites.

Find focused information in library databases

All of these resources are free for MJC students, faculty, & staff.

Search using the Key Search Words at the top of this guide, or use words more specific to your topic.

If you're working from off campus, you'll need to sign in. Once you click on the name of a database, simply enter your student ID (without the W) and your six-digit birth date. 

Get Help from MJC Librarians

Getting help has never been easier. Your MJC librarians are here to help.

 Call:: (209) 575-6230
 Text: (209) 710-5270
 Email
Library FAQs Ask a Librarian

Your librarian

Susan Cassidy's picture
Susan Cassidy
Contact:
Research Librarian
Modesto Junior College

Office:
East Campus Library & Learning Center
435 College Avenue
Modesto, CA 95350

(209) 575-6807
cassidys@mjc.edu

Spring 2018 Research Help Desk hours
(NO APPOINTMENT NEEDED):
Mondays 11-1 East
Tuesdays 11-1 East
Wednesdays 9-11 and 2-3 East
Thursdays 9-1 West
Website
Subjects:English

Citation Styles

Your instructor should tell you which citation style he or she wants you to use. Click on the appropriate link below to learn how to format your paper and cite your sources according to a particular style.