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Super Twofer: MCC101, ENG151, PSY151


Google is a search engine that uses natural language to find websites that contain the words you typed. Results are based on proprietary algorithms that are personalized and often based on other things you’ve searched and interacted with.

Examples of other search engines: Yahoo, Safari, Edge, Duck Duck Go

Why Use Google?

  • If you have to research a topic you're not familiar with, Google is a good place to start exploring your topic to learn more about it. Because you can search with everyday language or even type your search as a question, it can be easier to find information.
  • Browse the results for keywords and keep a list next to you. These keywords will be helpful to search databases to find the scholarly sources that your instructors require.

Google Search Tips

When searching Google, try these search tips for best results:

  • Use "quotation marks" for phrase searching (for example, "sleep hygiene")
  • Search a specific domain (for example, sleep hygiene
  • Search a specific site (for example, sleep hygiene)
  • Wildcard search: use an asterisk after a root word to bring back results with all variations of the word (for example: health* = health, healthy, healthful)
  • Cross search: Google images, news, Scholar, videos

A Word About Domains

One way to determine the kind of website you’re using is to look at the website extension, or the domain. The following are some common examples:

  • .com - commercial website
  • .edu - educational institution
  • .gov - government website
  • .org - possibly a non-profit website (This domain used to be reserved for only non-profit organizations but now anyone can purchase a .org domain.)

The domain gives you a clue as to what kind of website it is, but it doesn't tell you anything about the quality of the site or the information that appears on it. The information on the site should still be evaluated carefully, which you'll learn more about later in this session.

Library Catalog

The library catalog is a search tool for locating materials owned by the library or materials that the library has access to. Use the library catalog to find books (print and eBooks), journals, and more.

When searching the library catalog, you can enter keywords, full titles, or authors. You can also limit your search results by date, information format (book, journal, magazine, videos, etc), and print or online materials.

Why Use the Library Catalog?

  • Use the catalog to find books about your topic. Books are useful for finding a lot of information about your topic all in one place. You don't have to read the entire book to use it as a source! Sometimes just a chapter or even a paragraph is useful.
  • eBooks are especially helpful. They are available 24/7, most without a library card.
  • eBooks are interactive and easily searchable. Click on the table of contents and jump right to a section. Browse the index to help you find keywords. Use CTRL +F to find a specific keyword somewhere in the book.
  • The library catalog has a Cite tool, which lets you easily grab the citation for the items you want to use for your research.

Library Databases

A library database is a searchable, indexed, electronic collection of published information. You control the results by choosing how it’s sorted and filtered.

The MCC Library subscribes to more than 100 databases. See our complete list of A to Z Databases to explore them all.

Types of Library Databases and Examples

Why Use Library Databases?

  • Access thousands of full text articles and eBooks
  • Databases are continually updated as new information in published
  • Easier to determine what "kind" of information you have (or the format): academic journal, magazine, newspaper, book review, etc.
  • Citation tool that lets you easily grab the citation for the source you want to use.
  • You control the search results using specific keywords and other limiters (full text, peer reviewed, and more)

Database Search Strategies

Boolean Operators: AND, OR, NOT

  • AND: for combining unrelated search terms (sleep hygiene AND intervention)
  • OR: for searching similar words (sleep hygiene OR healthy sleep habits)
  • NOT: for eliminating results (sleep hygiene NOT college students)

Phrase Searching

  • Use quotation marks to search words as a complete phrase, like “sleep hygiene”


  • Use specific keywords (not questions)
  • Use 2-3 keywords at a time


  • Full Text
  • Peer reviewed
  • Date Range
  • Format types (academic journal, newspaper, magazine, opinion, etc.)