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WP 115 Food for Thought: Spring 2020

Frequent practice in expository writing to foster clarity of organization and expression in the development of ideas.

Searching Library Resources

Library Resources can provide access to scholarly or proprietary material not freely available on the web.

Our holdings this spring have been expanded by new purchases and additional material provided by generous vendors.

HOWEVER, all these enhancements are not yet fully represented in our library catalog (CBBcat), our regular databases, nor discoverable by our discovery tool OneSearch.

For this course, START with these two e-book databases, but follow the steps below to expand your search to include articles, features, reviews and streams from both regular and added content.



1. Click on “Advanced Search” (if not already there).

2. Click: “Change Databases” or “Choose Databases”  undefined

3. Click: “Select all”

4. Click: Use selected databases” undefined

Your Advanced Search screen should now indicate you’re searching multiple databases. undefined

5. In the first row, put the full name of the writer you’re researching in quotes. SEARCH.


6. If you have a lot of results, chunk down your search by using the filters on the left.

A good way to do this is by type or format.  undefined

7. Click on “More” to get the expanded list of choices.

Filtering by “Magazines” can get you results like these.  undefined

If you don’t find what you’re looking for, also try searching these options.

(For Google Scholar, you must be signed in with VPN to get Colby links.)


Be sure and use the limiters on the left to narrow your results. Try the following:

  • Book Review
  • Book Chapter
  • Magazine Article
  • Full Text Online (to make sure you get e-books, not print)
CBBcat (Our Library Catalog)

Change the 2nd drop-down to ONLINE to find e-books, e-documents and streaming. undefined


Searching Tips Using Library Resources

  • Use an asterisk to stand in for different word endings:  critic* = criticism, critic, critics, critical)
  • Use quotation marks to "glue together" a phrase: "food additives"
  • Use AND between terms to narrow results to items containing both terms: restaurant AND critic*
  • Using OR between items (within parentheses) widens results to items containing any of the terms:  (locavore* OR localvore* OR "local food movement")
  • Look at subject headings and summaries to find new search terms.

Find Articles in a Specific Journal/Magazine

Want to see if Colby has access to a particular magazine or journal?  On the Colby Libraries home page click on the "Journals and Articles" tab.  

Once the orange bar has moved down, enter the publication's name in the search box.

Searching the Web

Use carefully crafted searches to find reliable sources.

Sometimes library resources don't yet have much content about a person or event of interest.

Library resources are the best places to find scholarly material, but there's other interesting content unique to the web. Careful searching is key.

Search Precisely - Use words and phrases that help to focus your search and reduce the avalanche. Beware of common words or words that have multiple meanings.

Use Pre-research to Strategically Add Search Terms - Use terms to help identify your subject. Add names of relevant publications and blogs. Try searching a writer's social media handle.

Use "Advanced Search" - On your Google search results page, click on Settings. The "Site or Domain" field can be useful in limiting your results to government information (.gov) or items created at educational institutions (.edu). Use the "Find Pages With" search boxes to finesse your search.


Use "Tools" - On your Google search results page, click on Tools > All Results > Verbatim. This can help focus your results. Limiting by date can get you items with greater currency.

Evaluate Extremely Carefully! - Investigate every source by doing separate searches of source creators, authors and publications. Every source you interact with is a conversation. With whom are you talking? What are their values and motivations? Are they trustworthy? Are they getting their information from reliable sources and interpreting evidence fairly and  intelligently? Who is the intended audience?

Know the Limitations of Web Searching - Most scholarly articles are either not found by search engines or are behind paywalls. Information is sorted and ranked according to commercial/consumer/popular considerations. Information is not vetted for accuracy or reliability.

Image: Penne Pasta with Kale & Sun-Dried Tomatoes by Jennifer

Reference Sources

Course Librarian

Laine Thielstrom's picture
Laine Thielstrom

Contact me by email or chat (send me a Google Hangouts invite). Or let's talk about your research or information need on Google Meet or Zoom!

MLA Citation Help

Older editions of the MLA handbook are also available. Many databases still use the 7th edition.  OWL uses the 8th edition. Note the differences! Be consistent.

MLA 7th Edition: Falk, Cynthia G. "'The Intolerable Ugliness Of New York': Architecture And Society In Edith Wharton's The Age Of Innocence." American Studies 42.2 (2001): 19-43. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 19 Jan. 2017.

MLA 8th Edition: Falk, Cynthia G. "'The Intolerable Ugliness Of New York': Architecture And Society In Edith Wharton's The Age Of Innocence." American Studies, vol. 42, no. 2, 2001, pp. 19-43. EBSCO, Accessed 19 Jan. 2017.

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