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ENG 102 Vassett Spring 2020

Finding Credible and Scholarly Information in the Library and on the Web

The MCC Library has credible & scholarly
resources fully available online!

Review this guide for tips on how to search, evaluate, and cite the information you find. To get started, watch a couple of the Library's fresh off the charts videos! Then contact me for help in finding research on your topics drawn from Sherry Turkle's pertinent book!

Overview of the Library's Website

How to Search with the Library's One Search

Finding and Choosing a Database

For an overview on searching the Library's databases that support scholarly argumentation, for example Opposing Viewpoints and CQ Researcher, click on the image to play the video:

You can control Google!

And for academic research, you're going to want to.  Try searching by domain and Google scholar to find information that is relevant, credible, and even scholarly!

Domain Searching

site:(url of website):

Use (keyword) site:(url of a website) to get results come from a specific website.

Example: Search climate change to get results only from



Use (keyword) (or try .org, .gov, etc.) to get results from a specific domain.

Example: Search climate change to get results only from .gov website.


Remember: .edu = higher education websites, .org = nonprofit organizations, .mil = military, .net = network, .com = commercial... To learn more see Website Domains (URL)

Give it a try:

Google Web Search


Google Scholar Searching
You will find full text scholarly information when searching Google Scholar.  You can also link the Mesa Community College Library  to Google Scholar so articles in our databases will come up through a Google Scholar search.  Watch this short video from the University of Louisville to learn how. As you watch, substitute Mesa Community College for University of Louisville!

Give it a try:

Google Scholar Search


More on Google Scholar:



See the MCC Library's Google Searching Research Guide for more tips and information.

Keywords: It's how you talk to search boxes...

Whether you are searching in a Library database, Google, or Amazon, there are search boxes all around us, and for the most part, they want our keywords -- those main ideas and concepts -- to effectively retrieve whatever it is we're looking for.  To learn more, do 3 things:

1. Click on the Keywords Slideshow and see what goes down!


2. Watch the Keywords Video to see what Smart Weirdo has to say.


3. Review these search tips that you can use with your keywords when entering them into a search box:

Boolean Logic

For better search results, try Boolean Operators!

AND connects keywords that represent different concepts and narrows the search
OR  expands the search ((finds either term) and is best to use between synonyms or related concepts
NOT use to exclude terms and narrow your search results

For example:

  • bullying AND adolescents
  • textiles AND China
  • fashion OR couture
  • body image OR self esteem AND psychology
  • zombies NOT films OR "motion pictures"

Phrase Searching using Quotation Marks

Phrase searching narrows your search results to include the exact phrase you are searching for - two or more words in precise order. Phrase searching is also handy when searching on specific titles or quotes especially when searching the open web or when trying to locate a full-text article.

For example:

"physical activity"

"range of motion":

"Wuthering Heights"

"to be or not to be"


Truncation will broaden your search and look for variations of a root word. For example:

Searching on stretch* will search for the root word stretch and all extensions of the word including:

  • stretches
  • stretching

Searching on educat* will search the root educat and all its variants:

  • educate
  • education
  • educator
  • educating

Nesting with Paranthesis

Nesting helps you organize your search strategy so the search engine will better understand. For example:

(exercise OR "physical activity") AND ("High blood pressure" OR hypertension)

Popular and scholarly literature can both be credible (that is, trustworthy and reliable against their implied objectives) and thus perfectly acceptable for college level research.  However, there are important differences. For example:

  Popular Scholarly
Purpose: Written to inform, entertain, or persuade Academic or scientific research, informative
Content: Broad subjects, general interest Original research or analysis; specific subject or discipline
Audience: General readership Specialists, scholars, professionals in a field
Author: Staff, freelance writers Experts, scholars
Format & Style: Short articles with photos or illustrations; everyday language; includes advertising Lengthy articles with tables, charts, graphs; technical language; little or no advertising
References: No bibliographic references; may refer to studies within text Documented research with footnotes and/or bibliography
Review Process: Reviewed by editor Peer-reviewed (or refereed) - reviewed by board of experts 



Scholarly articles are often required in college level research.  They are usually published in peer reviewed journals and written for experts and researchers, including college students.

Until you get used to them, they can feel overwhelming to read and understand.  However, there are some simple strategies that make the process much easier.  Watch one or both of the short videos, below, to pick up these tips.

The second video:

Should I cite this source?

Answer this question by applying the CRAAP Test!

From Scribbr:

MLA Research Guide



An accurate citation requires the right elements in the right order with the right punctuation based on the rules of a particular citation style.

Get help with in-text citations, Works Cited page, and paper formatting:

MLA Citation Style, 8th Ed. Research Guide 


Image of MLA and APA Handbooks

Checkout NoodleTools

NoodleTools is more than a citation tool. It is a research-management system that can help you:

  • Create citations in MLA, APA, and other formats, and then export them into your paper;
  • Plan, gather, and organize your research with electronic notecards;
  • Collaborate with classmates and instructors by sharing bibliographies;
  • Much more...

Visit the NoodleTools Research Guide to get started!


noodletools logo

Why Cite?

A citation identifies for your readers the original source from which you incorporated the words, ideas, images, and other information into your own work. No one wants to get in trouble, but avoiding plagiarism isn't the only reason to cite your sources:

Help others find the information that you used. Contribute to your readers' research process by giving them the opportunity to follow up on your source material. This form of "citation chasing" is a common and legitimate approach to expanding one's research.

Give yourself some credit. When you cite, establish the credibility of your own research and hard work. Strategically integrating credible and scholarly citations to support your own claims demonstrates critical thinking, elevates the quality of your work, and is generally expected in college level writing. 

Give credit to others. When you incorporate the words and ideas of other scholars, be fair by acknowledging them with a proper citation and connecting your work to theirs in a meaningful way.

Join the scholarly conversation. As a student, your research provides an entry point for you to engage with a community of scholars in your field. You do this by reading the works of others, building upon their ideas, attributing credit when necessary, and perhaps even publishing your own work so others can converse with you.





What is the Scholarly Conversation, and why is it important?

"Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations. Research in scholarly and professional fields is a discursive practice in which ideas are formulated, debated, and weighed against one another over extended periods of time."

"Instead of seeking discrete answers to complex problems, experts understand that a given issue may be characterized by several competing perspectives as part of an ongoing conversation in which information users and creators come together and negotiate meaning." Depending on your field of study, this scholarly conversation may occur in academic journals, books, conference presentations, and increasingly through scholarly blogs and websites.

Association of College and Research Libraries. (2015). Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved from