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20th Century U.S. History - Prof. Bishop- Fall 2018: Search Strategy

Find your Keywords

When searching the databases for articles, do not type in whole sentences. Pick out the key words in your assigned topic {president} and {event/issue} and search those words only.

e.g. search FDR AND New Deal 

Think of other terms that can be used to describe the event you are researching and try those also: e.g. Watergate: Democratic National Convention, Resignation, Wiretapping, Espionage

You might need to search multiple times in a single database before deciding it does not have any useful articles.

Use the asterisk * to truncate words and widen your search. Impeach* will search for Impeach, Impeached and Impeachment.

Use quotation marks to keep phrases together: e.g. "Bay of Pigs" 

Some events and speeches came to be known under certain names after the fact. You may need to find additional search terms to find resources from the time of the event.

For example: Jimmy Carter's "malaise speech" was about the energy crisis and known as the "Crisis of Confidence" (President Carter never used the word malaise in the speech).

e.g. search  "Jimmy Carter" AND malaise AND energy

 or Carter AND "Crisis of Confidence"

or "Jimmy Carter" AND speech AND "energy crisis"

Try your search terms in different combinations to get the greatest number of results.

Background Research

Below you will find some sources that will help get you started with topic ideas. You will need to log in with your MyWCC username and password if you are off-campus.