History: Law (Cobbett, Gilman)
Use quotations to find an exact phrase. For example:
Truncation (using an asterisk *)
Try using truncation to get better search results. Truncation means that a symbol–usually an asterisk *–is added to the end of a word root. This asterisk tells the database to search for all forms of that word. For example:
If you type censor* in the search box, you will get articles with all instances of the word censor, such as:
Advanced Search and Sorting Results
Most databases provide links or a drop-down menu to sort by relevance or date.
Most databases have a link called Advanced or Advanced Search. Using Advanced Search, you can:
limit the date range
limit the document type
refine your keyword search
Tips for CQ Researcher and SIRS
Tips for CQ Researcher
Check that the article is recent (published in the last 5 years or so). Some topics will not have a recent article in CQ Researcher.
Do not print the entire report.
To get the correct citation, in the citation area at the bottom, click See Alternate Citation Style. Click the MLA Style link. Copy and paste the MLA citation into your bibliography.
Tips for SIRS
Using the blue links at the top left, you can sort by date or relevance.
Check out the subjects in the See also section at the top of the results. If a subject seems to fit your topic well, then click it for more relevant results.
Overviews (reference) and Articles (mainly from newspapers and magazines)
SIRS (Social Issues Researcher)
CQ Researcher (in-depth articles, about 40 pages each)
Articles only (no overviews)
Expanded Academic ASAP (Gale) (articles from newspapers, magazines, and academic journals)
JSTOR (optional, if you are seeking a challenge)
JSTOR contains digitized back issues of academic journals. It is available through the Boston Public Library (BPL). If you want to use it, then read and follow these instructions carefully.
- If you already have a BPL eCard or a physical BPL card, then click here to go to BPL's A-Z Online Resources page and click JSTOR. When prompted, enter your BPL eCard or BPL library card info.
- If you DO NOT have a BPL eCard or a physical BPL card, then sign up for a BPL eCard. After you have signed up, then click here to go to BPL's A-Z Online Resources page and click JSTOR. When prompted, enter your BPL eCard number (the number which was emailed to you) and the PIN you chose.
Cite your sources as you find them, using MLA 8 Style. Most LS Library databases provide citations (below the article, or through a link).
Noodletools can help you create and organize your citations. To sign in, log in to your LS Google account, click the waffle menu, and scroll down to Noodletools. Here's a quick video to show you how. If you get stuck and need help, then please check in with Emily or Paula.
Here’s some citation guidance:
How to do Footnotes & in-Text Citation (4 slides)
Various Citation Links (bib generators, more guides, etc.)
As you find sources, you need to evaluate them for soundness, currency, relevance, authority, and purpose. This goes both for database sources and web sources. Here’s a list of questions that can help you evaluate sources: