Skip to Main Content

ENG 101/102 General Overview

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

MCC Library Access Points

You can access credible and scholarly information using three critical access points found smack in the middle of the MCC Library homepage:

  • One Search Tab: Search most of the Library's databases at one time.
  • Catalog Tab: Search for print books and pick them up curbside.
  • eResources / Databases Tab: Search databases individually by subject and/or type.

Below please find several short videos that provide an overview of the Library's website and show you how to take advantage of each of these search options.

MCC Library Overview


One Search: Search databases all at one time.


eResources / Databases: Search databases individually --


Databases for Argumentative Essays

Watch this video for an overview on searching the Library's databases that support scholarly argumentation, for example Opposing Viewpoints and CQ Researcher.

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:[enter URL of website]:

Use [keyword] site:[URL of a website] to get results from a specific website.

Example: Search climate change to get results only from



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

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


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 for talking 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. Review the Keywords Slideshow:


2. Watch the Keywords Video:


3. Additional search strategies and tips:

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)

                               Arrested Development Scholar     Arrested Development Scholar     Arrested Development Scholar

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:

  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 vs. Popular from the Carnegie Vincent Library:

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?

This timeless question has been asked by generations and generations of college students. When seeking the answer, it's first important to know what credibility means in the context of scholarship and good grades!. Fortunately, we have a short, fun video:


You can and should also apply the CRAAP Test

Another way to determine if information is credible is to rule out that it's not CRAAP.  What do we mean by that? CRAAP represents a set of critical thinking criteria that you can apply to any information you find as some extra insurance before including it your works cited list.


And for all you fans of infographs, here is the CRAAP Test displayed graphic style:

From Scribbr:

As if CRAAP weren't enough, in recent years our intelligence, integrity, and common sense are under assault by the onslaught of FAKE!  Well, tell those liars, fibbers, and thieves to Shut the Fake Up by applying this set of critical thinking criteria:

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