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Ready, Set, Research

This guide is geared toward students who need to prepare research papers and/or speeches for college courses.

Background Information

Many students turn to Wikipedia for their initial exploration of a topic.  This is fine, but be sure to augment your background research with sources you can actually include on an academic bibliography.   

Conduct background research because:

  • It is a great source of core knowledge on your topic
  • It can generate ideas on different ways to focus your topic
  • It can answer research questions you've already posed
  • It may help you clarify and/or expand research questions.
  • It often points you towards other sources of information on your topic 

The MJC Library subscribes to several article databases that are great for finding background information.  Try searching in:

Finding Books

Use WorldCat to find material available in and through the MJC Library & Learning Center. And beyond!

Go to WorldCat

Using Databases

Why Use Databases:

The MJC Library subscribes to many databases filled with authoritative articles, book chapters, research reports, statistics, videos, and more from thousands of respected publications. You can search these databases either by topic or for a specific article.

Using the Library's article databases ensures that you're using sources your instructors expect you to use, and you won't have to cull through millions of unrelated Web pages that will waste your time and energy.

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All of these resources are free for you because you are a student at MJC. If you're working from anywhere off campus, you'll need to sign in. Once you click on the name of a database simply enter your student ID and six-digit birth date.

 

Find Articles:

You can start with one of our Popular Research Starting Places databases that cover many different subjects, select a Database by Name from the alphabetically-arranged list, or browse Databases by Subject or Type from the drop-down menus.

go to articles and databases

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What if MJC Doesn't Have What I Need?

  • If you find materials in WorldCat that you need, but MJC does not own them, you can simply click the Request Item button in WorldCat to have that item sent to you here at MJC.
     
  • If, however, you need materials that you cannot find in WorldCat, you can request them through our interlibrary loan service