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ENG 111: Composition (Dr. Redder): Using Google

Link McGovern Library to Google Scholar

Before you start searching Google Scholar, take a moment to link McGovern Library.  By doing this, Google Scholar will allow you to access more scholarly articles (those that are held behind paywalls) by searching the McGovern Library databases.  If an article is held by McGovern Library, you will be redirected to the library's catalog record of the article, and asked to sign-in if accessing the material while off campus. 

Step 1: Go to Google Scholar (

Step 2: Open up the menu button (the 3 lines located in the top left corner)

Step 3: Open up the "Settings" feature within the menu

Step 4: Click on Library Links and type in "Dakota Wesleyan University" in the search box

Step 5: Check the box "Dakota Wesleyan University, McGovern Library - McGovern Library Fulltext" and save

Step 6: You will be redirected to the Google Scholar homepage where you can begin searching

If an article is owned and held by McGovern library, a link entitled "McGovern Library Fulltext" will be provided by Google and located to the right of the article title and description. Click on the link to be redirected to the Library's Catalog where you can view the full text article. 

Using Google for Research

Below are tips to help you more effectively and efficiently search the internet. 

Tip #1 
Search with the answer in mind, not the question. 

When typing in a search query (question) into a search engine, rephrase your search to get the answer instead of other people asking the same question (and hoping the answer is in the comments). Working backwards with the answer in mind will help get you the information you are looking from - and find the answers from better sources. 

Tip #2
Start broad and narrow it later.

It is always easier to narrow your search area than to spread it out, so it is fine to start your search by throwing a very wide net and focusing your search inwards as you go. If you are interested in basic information, Wikipedia and Google are great places to start to gather your base knowledge. These searches can help provide names, dates, and scope.  

Tip #3
Gather the same information from multiple sources. 

If you are finding the same facts and information in more than one place, that is wonderful. But make sure you use and cite all of your sources in your research, not just one. This will strengthen the information and show that you gathered and pulled information from more than one source, and that is a great thing. 

Tip #4
The Golden Resource might not exist. 

That perfect piece of information that ties everything together may not exist from a reputable source. If you are looking for an item that explains your topic from your bias, the perfect, singular resource may not exist at all. You will have to pull information from several sources and make your case without relying on only one source.  

Evaluate Your Source

Before using a source in your research, evaluate the material to determine if this source is reliable, accurate and is of high enough quality to include in your college-level research. 

Who Wrote It?
Ask yourself the following questions.  By determining these answers, you will be better able to determine if the information and source is reliable and high-quality.

  • Who is the author? 
  • Can you find the author as an individual and find other writings by them? 
  • Did the article/information come from the organization that published the information?  

When Was It Written/Published?
Depending on your topic and scope, you will need to decide whether the information you gather is the most current information available, or if it needs to come from well established, older sources and materials.  Medicine and Technology, for example, may require information to be more current, whereas History may require more established, or older and verified information.  This will all depend on your topic and its scope.  And remember to be mindful of how old the information is and what that means for the quality and reliability of the information. 

Is There Bias?
Bias can come both from the source of information as well as you as the researcher.  Ask if you are bringing in your own biases, or in other words, are you coming at the research question from different angles, or are you searching only one search engine using only one set of keywords.  Varying how you access information, gathering from different sites and using different search engines, can help provide wider perspective and keep you from locking in to one mindset as you search and write.  Rethink keywords to ensure you are searching for the meaning or concept.

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