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ENG W 131: Commentary Assignment: Searching Through Databases

When You Don't Know Where to Start...

Questions to Consider

Exploring a database can be overwhelming. Here are some questions that may help you understand what the database is, how it works, and how it might be useful to you.

  1. What keywords and search queries did you use to conduct your search?
  2. What kinds of information sources are found in this research tool?  Books, articles, etc.?
  3. Browse through the first few pages of your search results.  Are these sources relevant to your topic?  How can you make that determination?
  4. Choose one of your search results that seems most relevant to your topic.  How do you access the information source?  (Is the article right there on the page?  Do you have to click on another link to access it?  Is it on a shelf in the library?)
  5. Would you use any of these sources for an assignment in this class?  Why or why not?
  6. If you were to show someone else how to search this database, what tips or suggestions would you have?