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WRT 101 - M. Young: How to Modify a Search Using MegaSearch

Learn how to identify appropriate articles and evaluate them

Top Tips: MegaSearch

 1. Write down your question.

How will a border wall affect animal migration?

 

2. Identify 2-3 key concepts.

How will a border wall affect the migration of animals?

 

3. Open MegaSearch in ADVANCED search

  • Click Advanced Search
  • Each concept gets its own box!
  • Any phrases should be in "quote marks."

 

4. To maximize the number of relevant articles, create concept clusters. Add synonyms to concept boxes.

"border wall" OR "Trump's wall"

migration OR migratory OR migrating

animals OR mammals

 

5. Filter by Format

  • Magazines
  • Academic Journals

         or Limit to Scholarly journals (peer reviewed)

 

6. Email an article to yourself with an MLA citation.

  • Open the full record
  • Click the Email icon (at right)
  • Important: Write a descriptive Subject line for your later self!
    • Example: GOOD! Study of javelina migration around Nogales wall 
  • If you want APA style, select this before you email.

How to Search

1. Write down your research question as a sentence. Then analyze it into 2-3 concepts.

Example: Will the solution to world hunger in 2050 require genetically modified foods ?

  • Main concept:       Genetically modified foods
  • Focus concept:     Hunger
  • Additional focus;   2050

2. Open MegaSearch (in Advanced mode)

3. In the top search box, enter a word or phrase for your main topic. Then Search.

  • For an exact phrase, enclose it in "quotation marks"

You find 16,000+ results

5. In the second search box, enter your focus concept.

Each of the 1,496 records contain both concepts.

Review Your Results (Limiting optional)

The results will include various types of publications:

  • Books
  • eBooks
  • Video recording
  • Academic journal (articles)
  • Periodical (articles)


For now, limit your search to the Academic journals and Periodicals

1. In the left margin, scroll to the Format section. Click Show more.

2. Check the boxes ffor Academic Journals and Periodicals. Click Update.

Scan the article titles.  To read an abstract, hover your mouse over this icon:

Email articles--with MLA citations

1. Open an article record

2. Notice the Tools (right margin)

3. Click the Email icon

  • Use your PCC Gmail address
  • Write a descriptive Subject line (for yourself!)
  • You'll get the full article and an MLA citation.

You'll get the full article and an MLA citation.

You'll get the full article and an MLA citation.

You'll get the full article and an MLA citation.

You'll get the full article and an MLA citation.

You'll get the full article and an MLA citation.

You'll get the full article and an MLA citation.

You'll get the full article and an MLA citation.

You'll get the full article and an MLA citation.

You'll get the full article and an MLA citation.

View the full text of the article

1. Open the article record.

2. In the upper left, click an option for full text.

Permalinks

Everyone knows how to link to a web page.

However, linking to a database article is different.

Use a PERMALINK!  Don't grab the URL from the address bar. It won't work. A permalink will.

 

The Permalink appears at the top. Copy it and paste it.