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8th Grade Research Paper: Databases

How to use a database

Databases can be a great place to find all sorts of resources for your research papers - books, reference book articles, magazine and newspaper articles, video, audio, statistics, and even recommended websites.

When you use a database you will probably need to narrow down your search to find materials that are relevant to your topic. Here are some limiting tips:

  • limit by publication type or name (for example, look for articles from the New York Times)
  • limit by date of publication. You are researching a current issue, so you probably don't want any materials that are more than 5-8 years old. 
  • add search terms - the more terms in your search the more focused your search will be. Leave out words like the, and, a, if, is, to, an and so. These terms will be omitted from your search anyway.
  • If you want to look up a particular topic or person of more than one word, use quotes to make the database do a phrase search. "John F. Kennedy", "Civil Rights Movement"

When you find something to use in a database, download a copy and save it to a Google Drive folder to read later. Never print until you are SURE you need a physical print copy of the article. You may find that you can annotate, highlight and read the article just as well online as in print. Also, most of our databases will let you export the bibliographic citation to NoodleTools. Be sure you have a tab open with your active project.

Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context


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Science in Context


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