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Research Strategies. Vista Murrieta High School Library Mrs. Jacobs Library Media Teacher. Key Word Searching. Brainstorm words that will describe your topic Check spelling and typing Balance Information overload Information deficit. Print Use Broader terms: Environment

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Research Strategies

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Research Strategies

Vista Murrieta High School Library

Mrs. Jacobs

Library Media Teacher

Key Word Searching

  • Brainstorm words that will describe your topic

  • Check spelling and typing

  • Balance

    • Information overload

    • Information deficit


Use Broader terms:


Table of Contents


Global Warming




More specific terms

“Going Green”


Broaden or narrow with use of:




Air, Water, Weather

Use quotations for specific phrases

Keyword Strategies

Key Word Strategies

  • Combine phrases into single or word

    • “Draw the line”limit

    • “What should be done?”solutions

    • “way of the future”alternative

    • “Should be taught”controversy

    • “How can it be changed?”solution

    • “Should continue?”ethics

Key Word Strategies

  • Look for alternative words that describe your topic

    • Civil Rightscivil disobedience

    • Atomicnuclear

    • Racial profilingrace discrimination

    • Stem cellcloning

    • AmericaUnited States

    • Illegal immigrationimmigration

    • Violent crimesviolence

  • What is the question really asking?

    • Nuclear power plantsalternative energy sources

Online Encyclopedia

  • Welcome to Wikipedia,

  • the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

  • 1,413,387 articles in English

  • Who is responsible for the articles on Wikipedia?

    • You are! Actually, you can even edit this very FAQ! As there are more than 2.34 million (2,340,000) other Wikipedians, this is a collaborative effort. Thousands of people have contributed information to different parts of this project, and anyone can do so, including you. All you need is to know how to edit a page, and have some encyclopedic knowledge you want to share. The encyclopedia provides users with a certain amount of freedom.

Anyone can publish on the Web

It is “unfiltered”

Internet sources are much more fluid- the information they provide can change in an instant

Content not evaluated before posting

Focus on:







Intended Audience?

Evaluating Web Sites

Searching The Online Catalog

  • E-Catalog

    • Catalog of all holdings – books, periodicals, internet sites, audiovisual

    • Search several ways

      • Author: Author’s full name

        • LAST NAME 1st

      • Title: Provides a list of all works the library has with that title

      • Subject: Produces a list of works about the subject

      • Keyword: looks for individual words regardless of their location in a name, title, or subject heading.

      • Boolean: Using “and”, “or”, “not” to refine search

Periodical Research

  • What is a Periodical?

  • Something that is printed on a regular basis

    • Monthly or weekly magazines

    • Daily newspapers



US Weekly

Sports Illustrated

Car and Driver


English Journal

Scientific American

U.S. News and World Report

Types of Periodicals

Online Database vs. Google


Full Text Databases


    • Articles from periodicals

      • Newspapers- 200 United States and International

        • New York Times

        • Wall Street Journal

      • Magazines – 2000

        • Time

        • Newsweek

      • Scholarly Journals – over 3000 journals

        • Oxford University Press

        • Cambridge University Press

Access EBSCO

  • Internet

    • Web Address:

    • User ID: vmhs

    • Password: bronco

  • Find login information:

    • Library Brochure

    • Link on Library Web Page (password concealed, click and drag mouse)

SIRS Online Database


  • Researcher is a highly acclaimed reference resource containing thousands of full-text articles—many accompanied by charts, maps, photos, diagrams, and illustrations—exploring current and enduring topics. 


  • Quality Reference Books Online – accessible to unlimited number of students at one time

    • Arts and Humanities Through the Eras, Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion, History Behind the Headlines, St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, and Science and Its Times: Understanding the Social Significance of Scientific Discovery, Encyclopedia of Religion, Encyclopedia of World Biography, American Decades, American Decade Primary Sources, Dictionary of American History, Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, Major 21st Century Writers, Countries and their Cultures, Gale Encyclopedia of Science and Encyclopedia of Bioethics.



  • Location ID: murr50533

  • Password: bronco

  • Find login information:

    • Library Brochure

    • Link on Library Web Page (password concealed, click and drag mouse)


  • Author’s Last Name, First Name __________________________________.

  • Title of Article “_____________________”

  • Name of Magazine___________________.

  • Date of Magazine____________________:

  • Pages_________. for example: 57-59

Online Citation Resources



VMHS Library Web Page

  • Resources, Links, News, Upcoming Events, MLA

Works Cited

  • Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writersof Research Papers. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2003.

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