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WRT 101S - Downtown (Graham) Writing I: A: MegaSearch

For Essay #3: Documented argument

Read me!

Before you search, first read ALL the directions on this page.

Then you can adapt the sample search to your own topic.

Stage 5: Find specialized information to support your thesis.

To argue that this career is a good one (or a bad one) for you, you'll need some specialized information. By the end of this stage, you'll find sources for these specialized answers.


  • From AZCIS, you may have learned that firefighters face hazardous working conditions, but what percentage of firefighters are injured or killed per year?
  • From AZCIS, you may have learned the median income of college professors, but how much do incomes vary depending upon what subject you teach?
  • From AZCIS, you may have learned that nurses often work 12-hour shifts.  What are the "pros" and "cons" of these intensive working conditions?

In order to answer these questions, you'll need specialized information--often from articles in scholarly or trade/industry journals.

By searching MegaSearch, you can seek out specific answers to your questions.


See the directions below.  (Read them all first)

Advanced Search

1. Open MegaSearch--in Advanced mode

2. In the top search box, enter terms for your career.

  • You can enter synonyms for your career joined by OR.  See the example.

2. In the next box, describe a requirement (for the job, or for you)

  • If you are searching for a phrase, enclose it in "quotation marks."

Example:  Find about about nursing and working conditions

3. Click search.

Now see the directions in the box under this one.

Find Scholarly journal articles

Your assignment requires 4-6 sources that are scholarly, in-depth, published sources. Trade/industry journals may also work, but check with your instructor.

To find Scholarly journal articles, use the left column of your results page (see the  image below).

  • Checkmark the box for Scholarly Journals (peer reviewed).

Now use the directions in the box below.

Review items--to see if they support your thesis

When you do a search, you may find TONS of results.  Or you may find only a few.  But the best results are usually near the top.

1.  Read the titles of the first 10-20 items.

  • When you find a good title, click it.
  • The full description of the item opens.
  • Below is a sample scholarly journal article:

2. Review the Title, Subject Terms, and Abstract.

  • Could this article help support your thesis?
    • If so, view the full text article and/or email it to yourself. (Directions below)
    • If not, try another item record OR try a different search. For example, instead or "working conditions" try burnout in its place.

Now use the directions below.

Open the full text of an article

You will find a link to the full text of the article to the left of the title.

  • In this case, it is in PDF format.  Sometimes it is in HTML format.
  • In either case, just click the link.
  • Now see the directions in the box below this one.

Email the article to yourself, with an MLA citation

When you click a PDF, this is what you get. You can scroll through the entire article.


IMPORTANT:  Email the article to yourself!

  • Click the Email icon at right.  It looks like an envelope.
  • Type in your email address
  • Type in a customized Subject line. This is what you will see in your email inbox.  Help yourself out: make it specific!
  • The email will contain...
    • The full text article (PDFs will be attachments).
    • An MLA style citation, which you can copy and paste into your Works Cited list. (You need to proofread it first)

For more on MLA citations, see the Write & Cite tab in this guide.


Ok. You are ready to search! Scroll up to the top of this page, and open MegaSearch