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English Research Guide: Finding Articles & More

A research guide covering all composition, literature and mythology courses.

Off-Campus Access to Databases

To access any database in this Research Guide from off campus, you will need your myMCC login. You may find your myMCC login at www.mchenry.edu/myMCC. Click on "Password Reset/Find Username."  

Research Tip: What's in the Article Databases?

Article Databases mostly contain articles from periodicals, including:

Journal Articles, which cover research and practice in a particular field or discipline. These articles are written by experts in the field and are a VERY HIGH QUALITY SOURCE. You can limit your search to just journal articles by checking the scholarly or peer-reviewed journal box on the search screen.

Magazine and Newspaper Articles, which are geared more to the general public--not as high quality as journal articles, but may be appropriate depending on your topic. Use the Source Evalauation Rubric under the Evaluating Sources tab to evaluate these types of articles.

Some databases, especially those geared to a particular topic such as Literary Reference Center, contain periodical articles as well as articles from reference books.

Starting Points: Argumentative & Social Issues Papers

If your research assignment requires you to write about a current social or controversial issue, start here.

Article Databases (general databases covering many topics)

When you need to do research beyond the starting points above, you can find full-text articles covering a wide range of topics below. Make sure to combine your terms with Boolean AND (to include all terms), or Boolean OR (to include any term). The Youtube video to your right illustrates Boolean searching.

How to Search

The videos and other resources below will help you be a better database searcher!

Selecting and Using Keywords Video (3:50)

keyword with magnifying glass over research

Joshua Vossler's video "Selecting and Using Keywords"

Research Tip: If you were researching the topic "videogame violence" as discussed in the video above, you could also use a great and reliable site such as this: https://www.statista.com/topics/868/video-games/  (Video Game Industry: Statistics & Facts | Statista)

Quick Tips and Shortcuts for Database Searching (video 5:19)

How to Enter Your Keywords into a Database (video)

Online Databases: a definition

An organized collection of computer records having a standard format designed for efficient retrieval of information. 

Advantages of Online Databases:

  • Can access remotely
  • More time efficient
  • Information is updated frequently
  • More flexible and precise searching
  • Access to more resources than could be physically located in the library

Starting Points: Literature Analysis Papers

If your research assignment requires you to write about literary criticism or literary themes, start here.

Additional Databases & Research Guides

Depending on your topic, you may want to use databases beyond what is on this page and/or research guides other than the English guide.  See below: