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English and Literature

Resources in the field of English and Literature

ENG142 Search Strategies

This page will provide you with some tips and tricks to make your research a breeze! If you still can't find what you need, please don't hesitate to contact the library! You can find our contact information and more on the Get Help page.

To get you started, here are some general search strategies:

Keyword Strategies

Use these keywords in a general search in any one of our recommended databases or inside DragonQuest:

  • Pro tips for keyword searching:

  • The fewer words you use, the larger your search will be.
  • Try different words or combinations of words in the search box. A thesaurus can come in handy. 
  • Using quotation marks, you can string clusters of words together (Example: "Gun Control"). This will return results where the words gun and control are found together in articles.
  • Use the left-side limiters to adjust your search results. There you can:
    • Limit results to full text only, meaning you can read the full resource digitally without requesting the item.
    • Limit results to scholarly/peer reviewed.
    • Adjust the year of your publications.
    • Limit results by language (a handy feature if you are pulling up many non-English materials).
  • Try individual databases from our A to Z list rather than searching DragonQuest if you feel overwhelmed with the search results. Broad databases that cover a variety of disciplines like Academic Search Complete will still give you plenty of material!
  • Check out our list of Recommended Databases on this guide for two resources that might give you an advantage when researching controversial issues.

Subject Strategies

Searching for results by subject heading, rather than by keywords, can help you focus your search in new directions. Consider these subject search options:

  • Crime Prevention
  • Police Administration
  • Extremism
  • Political Violence
  • Cyberterrorism
  • Educational Standards
  • Diversity in Education
  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Athletes -- Mental health

The following image shows you how to change your search to a subject search by using the dropdown menu inside DragonQuest:

Image shows the dropdown menu selection for "SU Subject Terms" in the DragonQuest search area


Research Starters

Need some extra guidance? Try a Research Starter:

What is a Research Starter?

Research Starters are encyclopedia entries, so they are more of an "idea gathering" mechanism than a scholarly source to support your stance on an issue. They provide you with background information on a broad topic and highlight keywords you can use and/or links to source material to get you started on your research. 

Narrowing DragonQuest Search Results

If you'd like to know how to narrow down your DragonQuest list to only full text, peer reviewed, or specific types of resources, we recommend the following tutorial:

Citation Resources and Tutorials

Using Grammarly

Grammarly identifies spelling, grammar, and plagiarism issues in your writing. Unlike spelling and grammar check in Microsoft Word, which only provides corrections, Grammarly includes an explanation of the writing error so that you know what to look for when you proofread your work. Grammarly also makes the distinction in the type of paper you’ve been asked to write, which is important because tone and content requirements vary for different assignments.

Grammarly is a free resource for Tiffin University students. In order to use Grammarly, you must sign up for a free account. This tutorial will walk you through creating your Grammarly account and navigating inside Grammarly.

The contents include the following:

  • Creating Your Account
    Provides detailed guidance for account creation.
  • Uploading Your Paper
    Demonstrates how to upload or use copy/paste to pull a paper into the Grammarly interface.
  • Advanced Settings
    Adjust settings to fit specific types of assignments or look for plagiarism violations from web resources.
  • Interpreting the Results
    Provides a broad overview of issues found by Grammarly and how to edit them.
  • Grammarly Apps
    Provides an overview of features available to link Grammarly to Microsoft Word and/or your web browser.
  • Get Help
    Provides support information.

Our web guides are designed to be brief. If you need more detail than what we've provided here, check out our Google Doc at the following link (NOTE: You should be signed into your TU email in your browser to access this file):