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Research help

This guide will help you at all stages of the research process, from choosing a topic to citing your sources.

Search strategy overview

Use these tipsWork smarter, not harder. when you search in CCC Library databases. Your search results will be more focused and relevant to your topic!

  1. Use quotation marks around phrases and search terms to search for the words in the exact order you would like, instead of separately.
    Basic search, "emotional support animals"
  2. Use different search boxes for each different idea that makes up your overall topic.
    Advanced search

 

Too Many Results? Too Few Results?
  1. Add in additional search terms.
  2. Limit to peer-reviewed journals.
  3. Limit by date.
  4. Limit by subject.
  5. Limit to items with full-text availability.
  6. Change the search box dropdown menu to "Abstract" or "Subject."
  1. Verify that you spelled everything correctly.
  2. Erase unnecessary search terms.
  3. Try different search terms.
  4. Use the Boolean operator OR between search terms.
  5. Remove any limits you may have added to an earlier search.
  6. Change the search box dropdown menu to "All Text" or "Entire Document."

Need help with too many or too few results? Call, email, chat with, or stop by and see a librarian!

Where to search

Different search scopes in CCC Library's catalog.CCC Library has a variety of databases and search tools that offer you free, high-quality, academic information. Start here. Or try Google, then come back here when you get stuck. ;-)

  • CCC Library Catalog
    • CCC Library: books, eBooks, videos, and other items at CCC Library
    • CCC + Summit: books, eBooks, videos, and other items available at CCC Library and 38 Summit libraries
    • CCC + Summit + Articles: books, eBooks, videos, and other items at CCC Library and 38 Summit libraries, and a sizable portion of CCC Library's article databases
  • Databases A-Z list
    • articles, eBooks, streaming videos from CCC Library's individual databases, including EBSCO
  • Subject Guides
    • lists of subject-specific databases that are unique to your topic (e.g., Nursing)

Google like a librarian

We all use it - now let's learn to use it better!

  1. Use quotation marks around your search terms to search for the words in the exact order you would like, instead of separately.
    Google - "quotation marks"
  2. Use intitle: to retrieve webpages with your keywords in the title of the webpage.
    Google - intitle: search
  3. Use site:. to retrieve webpages from URLs in the domain (.gov, .edu, .org) you specify.  
    Google - site:. search
  4. Use - (a hyphen or minus sign) in front of words to exclude them from your search results.
    Google - NOT
  5. Use OR in between words to have either or both of the words included in your search results. OR must be capitalized. This is a good way to search for synonyms.
    Google - OR
    In the above example, Google will find results that include (election AND fraud) and (voter AND fraud).
  6. Use filetype: to retrieve specific types of files (instead of html webpages). Works for finding most file types.
    filetype: search
  7. Use several strategies at once for very specific results.
    Google - all of the above search strategies!

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