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K-12 Resources for Students and Teachers - Longview

This guide provides resources for K-12 teachers and students who want to learn more about the MCC-Longview library.

Free Database

Google vs. MCC Library Databases

Why use MCC Library Databases when you can search Google?

  • Search engines, such as Google, look throughout the internet for information. Most of the content which search engines locate can be viewed freely by anyone with a connection to the internet.

  • Google and other search engines can be a great place to start when you are looking for information. Government departments, universities, and various non-profit organizations often place useful and reliable information on their websites.

  • However, search engine result lists can also include websites that were created for completely different reasons such as selling you something or sharing incorrect information. Commercial websites, personal blogs, and discussion groups can be informative and entertaining, but they often do not provide the type of peer-reviewed information which is best for academic research.

Choosing Key Words

  • State your topic idea as a question. For example, if you are interested in finding out about use of alcoholic beverages by college students, you might pose the question, "What effect does use of alcoholic beverages have on the health of college students?"
  • Identify the main concepts or keywords in your question. In this case they are alcoholic beverages, health, and college students.
  • Test the main concepts or keywords in your topic by looking them up in the appropriate background sources or by using them as search terms in the Kansas City Library Catalog and in online databases such as ProQuest or Academic OneFile.
  • If you are finding too much information and too many sources, narrow your topic by using the AND operator: beer AND health AND college students, for example.
  • Finding too little information may indicate that you need to broaden your topic. For example, look for information on students, rather than college students. Link synonymous search terms with OR: alcoholic beverages OR beer OR wine OR liquor. Using truncation or wildcards with search terms also broadens the search and increases the number of items you find. 

Note: Subject searches and keyword searches are different. Keyword search is done automatically by database and finds any words typed in (keywords) anywhere they appear in articles, citations, or abstracts.  Example: search on effects of light on green plants (plants and light) could bring up articles ranging from concrete plants to articles on street lights nearby.  Keyword searches can retrieve large numbers of unusable results.  A subject search only brings up articles that have exact search term in articles’ subject fields, narrowing down results to a smaller, more relevant list of articles.  It is best to use subject searches whenever possible. The online catalog offers both searching options. 

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search