Skip to main content

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:

Using & Finding Books

Why Use Books:

Use books to read broad overviews and detailed discussions of your topic. 

Where Do I Find Books?

You'll use the library catalog to search for books, ebooks, articles, and more.

 

What if MJC Doesn't Have What I Need?

Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 emergency, we are unable to process requests for materials from other libraries. We'll have this service up and running again as soon as campus opens and we're fully operational.

If you need materials (books, articles, recordings, videos, etc.) that you cannot find in the MJC Library catalog, use our interlibrary loan service.

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.
 

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 just like you do for email or Canvas once you click on the name of a database. 
Find Articles:

You can start with one of our Databases for Background Reading, Databases Covering Many Subjects,  or scroll down to select a Database by SubjectDatabase by Type, or Find a Database by Name. 


Articles and Databases button


What if MJC Doesn't Have What I Need?

If you need materials (books, articles, recordings, videos, etc.) that you cannot find in the MJC Library catalog, use our interlibrary loan service.