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English 101 - Stewart - Spring 2023

Intro to Library Research

When you do research for an assignment, you will think about the types of sources you need to support your topic. While the internet has many sources you can use, research assignments may require more academic or scholarly sources.

Academic sources are written by instructors, other researchers, professors, and experts in that field. They usually have more complicated language and provide references or other sources they use to support their topic in the form of citations. Academic sources can most easily be found in library databases than on the internet.

OneSearch for Books, e-Books, and Articles

Notes on Keywords

If you have a topic you would like to explore, you will want to develop keywords to search the library databases or OneSearch. You can create keywords by determining the main ideas in your research question or topic.

Tips on Keywords:

  • Use main ideas + concepts
  • Eliminate words without meaning in your research question
  • Focus on What, Who, Where, Why, and How
  • These are usually the big ideas that you need to search
  • Your research question doesn't need to include all six of them (what, who, when, where, why, and how)

Research Topic Example:

I want to find resources on the following research question: How does social media affect body image in women?

For my topic, I need to look at WHAT is important, WHO I'm talking about, and Where does this happen (which mediated popular culture platform causes the effect or delivers the rhetoric).

My keywords can be: WHAT: "body image";  WHO: women; WHERE: "social media"

Note: We can put body image and social media in quotation marks to search them as phrases: "body image" AND women AND "social media"

How To Find Articles & Books in OneSearch

Example Search in the OneSearch Database:

  1. Visit the library webpage, find OneSearch, and click on the search to go to the basic search page. You can also use the same search box on the library homepage to type in your search term(s) or keyword(s) and click search. Click here to go directly to the page below. Main page of GCC Library website 

  2. Enter your keyword(s) in the search box; in my example, body image, women, and social media. Use AND to connect these ideas and find them together. Use quotation marks around body image and social media to look for them as phrases. Click here to go directly to the page below.Basic search box in OneSearch

  3. Before you open any of the articles or ebooks from the library's databases from off-campus, you will be prompted to log in, so prior to initiating your search, you can log in or sign in to OneSeach with your Canvas credentials on the GCC Portal Login page. By being logged in to OneSearch, you have full access to all resources and database features.GCC Portal Login Page

  4. Below is your results page. You can refine your search results by date to get the ones published in the last ten years. There are many other options to refine your results at the "Refine my results" menu on the left side of the page. Another helpful option is "Available online" to filter out physical items in the library. Click here to go directly to the page below. OneSearch results list

  5. Review the sources and determine which one is more relevant for your research topic. For e-books, you can click on the title of the book and access them online through one of the options (databases) listed on the page. And for print books that are available in the library, you can either come in and pick it up off the shelf or place a hold (if you are logged into OneSearch). Below is an example of a print book. Click here to go directly to the page below.OneSearch catalog record for book

Note: There are both print books and e-books/electronic articles available through the library. Print books are available through requests and e-books/articles are available online.

Other Library Databases for Finding Background Information and More


These videos from ProQuest Research Companion provide guidance on how to find information for any research project.

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