Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Introduction to College Writing Argumentative Essay Research

Use this guide to help gather and understand information you'll need to write an essay on your chosen conspiracy theory.

Library Databases--Search for articles and more

Library databases collect and organize published information from newspapers, magazines, journals, and other sources. They are designed for the needs of researchers and students. They usually contain:

  • Basic and Advanced Search boxes
  • Citations
  • Options to email, print, and save articles
  • Filters for publication date, subject, and more 

A Few Tips and Tricks

  • When searching, put quotes around phrases of more than one word (e.g. "teen homelessness") to search for the phrase instead of the individual words.
  • Use Boolean Operators (AND, OR, and NOT) to help you narrow or expand your results.
    • Searching for restaurant AND delivery will give you results with both words present. Therefore, your results are fewer.
    • Using OR between similar keywords will give you results that include both words. Therefore, your results are greater. A search for restaurant OR cafe will retrieve either or both terms.

      The NOT operator gives you results from only one of your words. Therefore, your results are fewer. Searching for delivery NOT food will eliminate articles containing the word food from the results.

  • When you are searching, remember that you are talking to a machine.
    It can't read your mind, so you will have to adapt your communication to it.

Watch the 2-minute videos below for a brief intro to searching.

Need help with any of this? Email/call/talk to a librarian. It's our job and joy to help you.

For more information on the research process, check out the guide below.


Western Technical College
Western Technical College Learning Commons
Student Success Center, Room 201
400 7th Street North
La Crosse, WI 54601
learningcommons@westerntc.edu
State Relay: 711
EEO Statement

Learn more about Western and the Learning Commons.
The Learning Commons provides library and academic support services on campus and online. The Learning Commons will set you up for success!

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. For details and exceptions, see the Library Copyright Statement.
©2020, Western Technical College

If you are experiencing disability related accessibility issues with any information on this website, please email AccessServices@westerntc.edu or call 608-785-9524.