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ENG 1B, Huerta: Where to Search

Choosing a Database

When choosing databases pick the ones that will help you best with your research. 

For general multidisciplinary sources try Academic Search Complete. You can find newspapers, videos, book reviews, and peer reviewed articles

For historical research and analysis try America History & Life

For Literary Research and Literary Criticism try Literature Resource Center. 

The library has over 50 databases that you can try, you can limit by subject or type. 


Don't be intimidated by using books for research! You don't have to read the the whole book you can use a chapter if the source is related to your topic of research. Search by using the library catalog. 

Here are some examples of books you can find in the library. 

Boolean Search Operators

Think of each search word as having a set of results that is connected to it. These sets can be combined in different ways to create larger or smaller sets of results. You can also exclude certain sets from your results. Boolean operators — AND, OR, and NOT — are the tools you use to combine these sets of results.

The table below explains how Boolean operators work.

Boolean Operator Examples Results


Boolean AND


AND combines different terms when both must be present. Use AND to narrow a search.


Boolean OR


OR combines terms when at least one must be present. Use OR to broaden a search.


Boolean NOT


NOT eliminates irrelevant terms from a search. Use NOT when you want to exclude all records that contain a certain term.