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ENG 101 Research and Composition B. Maxam: FIND Information

From Research Question to Keywords

Does playing violent video games lead to more aggressive behavior in children?

This is how a keyword combination for this research question might look in a database search.

Tip: Putting quotations around a phrase like "video games" is called exact phrase searching.  It helps the database to understand that you are looking for a very specfic multiple word phrase as opposed to the two words being searched for seperately. 

Using Google Scholar in conjunction with the library databases

Books and eBooks

Begin by looking for background information in reference books. Use the CannonCat search box below to search for reference books in the JCC Library.



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Choosing a database

Suggested Databases

Tips for choosing a database:

1.  If you are still trying to find background or general information about a topic, try a reference database.  The material will typically come from resources like specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries.

2.  Determine what discipline your topic my fall under and then choose a specialized database that focuses on that discipline.  Based on what you know so far, who would you consider to be an expert or most knowledgeable about your topic. A psychologist? Doctor? Historian? Educator?

3.  If you are researching a topic that is controversial or of current interest then you may want to choose one of our databases under Controversial Issues.

4.  If you are having a hard time figuring out what discipline your topic falls under or are simply trying to find as much information about your topic as you can then try our discover service, also known as Search Almost Everything, which will search almost all of our databases at once.

It is very difficult to perform research on a topic if you know little about it.

Consulting a background essay or article on your topic will allow you to:

  • Obtain an accurate and fairly unbiased overview of your topic.
  • Learn the key people, places and organizations involved - and learn the proper spellings of these!
  • Begin to develop an understanding of the topic if it is new to you, or if you have knowledge of the topic, perhaps learn other aspects of it and/or other points of view in relation to the topic.

Important Note!  Do not use these background databases as your main source of materials.  Use them for their intended purpose, to provide introductory information that will help you search other sources more effectively.


General Use databases will provide articles on nearly any topic.

We also offer many other databases that focus on specific topics and academic subjects.  Consult our Articles - JCC Databases page for a complete listing of databases listed by academic discipline or subject area.

If you are having a hard time determining what academic discipline your topic falls under, consider who you think would be an expert or an authority on your topic.  For example, if I'm researching whether violent video games have an effect on childhood behavior then an expert perhaps be a psychologist, a sociologist or perhaps even a early childhood educator.

Use Search Almost Everything to search multiple databases (including ebooks/books) at once.

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