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ENGL 308 - Advanced Composition for the Social Sciences - LH: Home

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Discover Library Books & Scholarly Resources with OneSearch

Use OneSearch to explore the library's resources simultaneously from one search box, including books in the library or the USMAI system, e-books, and articles.

When you are off campus, you must log in with your library barcode ID to access articles.

OneSearch: Articles, Books & More

Developing a Search Strategy for OneSearch or the Library Research Databases

When you search online library resources, it's good to have a strategy! Unlike Google or internet search engines, the research databases and the catalog can't interpret natural language or strings of unconnected words. You should identify the key concepts in your thesis or research question or statement and then brainstorm for a few alternative terms and synonyms that go along with them. Then you can connect and combine those terms in different ways using Boolean (see video in box below).

For example, what if you were researching agrrements or diagreements with the statement:

Education is the key to higher income.

The key concepts are obviously the words I underlined:

education higher income

 It's good to have a few synonyms and related terms for your key concepts. They may also be helpful in your search!

education: higher income:
schooling, college education, academic achievement, etc.
income, salary, prosperity, wealth

Now I can develop either a basic search statement:

education AND "higher income" 

Or a more advanced search statement, throwing in some related terms and synonyms:

(education OR "college education") AND ("higher income" OR prosperity)

Find out why I combined terms with AND and OR in the video below (capitalization and bold type just for emphasis)!

Subject Guide

Lisa Hartman's picture
Lisa Hartman
Lewis J Ort Library 226
Frostburg State University
1 Susan Eisel Dr.
Frostburg, MD 21532
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