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ENG 152/JRN 180: Superheroes and Legends: Finding Articles & More

Off-Campus Access to Databases

To access any database in this Research Guide from off campus, you will need your myMCC login.

Tips for Searching

Field Searching:

  • in the title field (superheroes, Marvel)
  • in the author field 
  • in the keyword field (women, gender, violence)


  • by date or date range
  • full-text
  • scholarly or peer-reviewed
  • format or type

Advanced Boolean Search:

  • Superheroes AND gender
  • Superhero AND (violence OR action)

Wild Card

  • wom*n (women, woman)


  • apocalyp* (apocalyptic, apocalypse)

Research Tip: What's in a 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 Evaluation Rubric under the Evaluating Sources tab to evaluate these types of articles.

Trade or Professional Articles are intended for professionals and others engaged in specific professions or trades.  These periodical articles may include "how tos" and on the job articles as well as notices of conferences and meetings and advertisements and articles about equipment, supplies, coursework and seminars all related to a field or trade.

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

Books, which have chapters of monographs or reference books. These sources tend to have a lot of information on your topic and are sometimes scholarly and sometimes popular. So make sure you evaluate them carefully.

Book & Article Databases

You can find full-text articles covering a wide range of topics in the databases 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 left illustrates Boolean searching.

Analysis and Criticism (literature and film)

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

Selecting and Using Keywords Video (3:50)

keyword with magnifying glass over research

Joshua Vossler's video "Selecting and Using Keywords"

Keywords and Database Searching

  • Use specific keywords, not questions.
  • Revise your keywords to see how that changes your results.
  • Look for more keywords in the articles you find.

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