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Horticulture Research Guide: Finding Web Sites

Searching the Open Internet

This page provides some suggested websites on the open internet for your horticulture research. Remember to evaluate internet sources carefully before using and citing them in your research.

One method to evaluate internet sources is called the SIFT Method. SIFT stands for:

Stop - What do you know about the author, website, or organization? Are they reputable? What do others have to say about them?

Investigate the source - Can you find their credentials? What else have they written? (One place to check is Google Scholar.) Where were those article published? What do others have to say about them? What organization(s) do they work for or support? Are their affiliations biased in some way or do they promote an agenda?

Find better coverage - If your source is popular, can you find a scholarly source that confirms the information? Consider upgrading.

Trace back to the original source - Does the source link to or cite their sources, or mention sources by name? Can you track them down? Do you have the entire story? Was anything left out? Was it taken out of context?

Useful Websites

Google Search Tips

Tips for searching effective Google searching:

  • Use Google advanced search to create the most precise search and for options such as limiting by date, language, and usage rights.
  • Leave out small, non-descript words such as a, and, the. Google ignores most of these words anyway.
  • Use clear, precise, descriptive search terms. Do not type your search as a question or statement.\

Example: instead of searching: What are the possible long-term health effects of Covid?, use precise keywords like: long-term health effects Covid

  • Put exact phrases in quotes

Example: "Yellowstone National Park"

  • Put a minus symbol before a word to exclude it from your search results.

Example: electric vehicles -Tesla

  • Use OR between words that can be used interchangeably or to search more then one idea at a time.

Example: junior high or middle school

  • Use the appropriate subset of Google depending on what you need.

Example: Google Scholar, Books, News, Images, Translate, Videos.

  • MCC Library resources (books and articles) are findable in Google Scholar. Go into the settings and add McHenry County College Library, save it, and then search. Items that the library owns will be indicated to the right with a Find it @MCC link.
  • Search within a specific domain or site.


Example:   *Do not leave any spaces after the colon.*

Search Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Search Google Scholar to find scholarly literature from many disciplines in a variety of formats. 

Click here for instructions on how to add MCC library resources to your Google Scholar search Results.

How to Cite Sources from Google Scholar

  1. Click on the image of quotation marks below the article information.
  2. Copy and paste the correct citation format into your document. (This will most likely be either APA or MLA style.)
  3. Make the necessary changes to the citation depending on the citation style.


  • Hanging indent
  • Double-spaced
  • Match font of your paper
  • Find and paste the DOI (find by clicking on the title of the article - not all will include a DOI)


  • Hanging indent
  • Double-spaced.
  • Font: Times New Roman 12pt