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WRT 101S - Downtown (Graham) Writing I: C: 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 I am part of a community of First Person Shooter video gamers. I believe this is a good community for me, but many people are concerned about possible negative effects of this activity.  So, I want to deal with their doubts or arguments.  I can search for research on this.

1. Open MegaSearch--in Advanced mode

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

  • In my case, this will be: "first person shooter*" or fps
  • I enclose the phrase in quotes.
  • I add an asterisk* to shooter.  This will also find the plural form: shooters
  • Since fps is another name for my community, I'll add it, using OR.

We recommend clicking Search at this point.  You will see how many items are available: 15,000!

Now you can focus your search:

3. In the next box, enter an aspect of your community to focus on. Click Search again.

  • I'll just add the word research.
  • This should find some research studies.

4. If needed, I can continue to focus my search using the third box.  This will narrow it down further.

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

5. Click search.

Now see the directions in the box under this one.

  • For example, I could look for positive outcomes of gaming:  cooperat*  (will find cooperation, cooperate, etc.)
  • Or I could focus on a possible negative outcome:  desensitiz*    (will find desensitization, desensitized, etc.)

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).


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.

  • Could this article help support your thesis?
    • If so, see the directions below to see the full text 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

Find the link to the full text of the article. 

  • In this case, it is in PDF format.  Sometimes it is in HTML format.
  • 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).  
  • Enter you email address
  • Type in a customized Subject line. You will see this Subject in your 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