Twenty-first century students don’t need to spend a lot of time learning how to find information. After all, many of us are online every day retrieving information: reconnecting with people on Facebook, finding open classes through PiratesNet, downloading driving directions, weather forecasts, song lyrics, recipes, and other pieces of information that get us through the day.
But information retrieval is not research! Research requires that you find information, of course, but it also demands much more from you. The MLA Handbook defines research in terms of exploring ideas, probing issues, solving problems, or making arguments relating to existing ideas. Yes, students need information to complete these tasks, but the depth and breadth of information needed moves far beyond a single source. Within the research process students also need considerable time to read the information they find, time to reflect on new information in terms of what they already know and what they are learning, and time to write multiple drafts of speeches/papers so that they can present your research as clearly, logically, and successfully as possible.
Therefore, you want to be as efficient as possible as you gather and analyze the information you discover. Simply put, databases were created to help you find credible information easily and quickly. I encourage you to use the research databases to help you research more effectively and efficiently.
Use books to read broad overviews and detailed discussions of your topic.
Where Do I Find Books?
Use WorldCat to discover books, eBooks, videos, and more for your research. Use the search bar below to begin your search:
For complete instructions on using WorldCat check out our WorldCat research guide.
Use the Right Search Terms:
Use the Name of Your Woman: To find information about a person, use that person's name as the subject of your search. For example, if I want to find information about Amelia Earhart, I will search on the term: earhart, amelia.
Add Words to Focus Your Search: To further focus my search on a particular aspect of Amelia Earhart, I'll add keywords to my original search. For example: earhart, amelia and "women's rights"
What if MJC Doesn't Have What I Need?
Why Use Databases:
The MJC Library subscribes to many databases filled with authoritative articles, book chapters, research reports, statistics, and more from thousands of respected publications. You can search these article 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. Once you click on the name of a database simply enter your student ID and six-digit birth date.