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WRT 101S - Downtown (Graham) Writing I: D: 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.

Advanced Search

Let's pretend that your community is the Girl Scouts.  You were a member, and now you are a volunteer.  Lately, you've become aware of the legal problems that can arise, and so you want to look at specific legal controversies. Therefore, you want to read about the Girl Scouts and any lawsuits they may be involved in.


1. Open MegaSearch--in Advanced mode

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

  • For a proper name, enclose the phrase in quotes:  "Girl Scouts"
  • Also, drop the 's' and replace it with an asterisk"Girl Scout*"

 The asterisk* is a wildcard.  It will search for the singular and plural forms or a word.

2. In the next box, describe an aspect that you want to research:

  • lawsuits
  • drop the 's' and replace it with and asterisk*   =   lawsuit*

     3. If needed, you could use the third box to focus further.  (Every time you add a new box, the search is focused.)

  • Example: Look for lawsuits based on injuries or negligence
  • Example: Look for lawsuits based on employment

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 (see the  image below).

  • Check the box for Scholarly Journals (peer reviewed).
  • Don't uncheck any other boxes. Leave them alone.

Now use the dircections in the box below.

Review items--to see if they support your thesis

The following example is for a scholarly journal about working conditions for nurses.  But the tips work for any article.

1.  Read the titles of the first ten 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 (highlighted below)

  • Could this article help support your thesis?
    • If so, see the directions below to view the full text of the article and to email it to yourself.
    • 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