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Optimism Project: Home

Accessing & Evaluating Sources


This guide was created for the junior English
Research Project - OPTIMISM!!! 

Task: Choose a topic that is important to you and also has potential for optimism

    Research that topic: 

  • Identify the situation
  • Acknowledge what is troubling...
  • And explore where there is reason to be optimistic

    Share with classmates: Presentations! 

    Reflect individually: Short essay

Need Help with your research?
Contact Ms. McGillis - stop in the library anytime or send her an email:

Why Use Databases?

Using library databases will ensure you create a quality research project 

Databases provide you with:

Up to date, relevant information

Evaluated sources

Citation information 

Subject specific content

Database Passwords each database has a unique username and password (note - some only require a password, not a username) 

From home you will need to enter a username and password - in school, the databases should be geolocated and you should not need a password. 

Searching Databases

What is your question? All good research starts with an essential question. 
Ex: How can climate scientists predict how climate change will impact the future?

What are your keywords? Searching a database requires entering search terms or keywords related to your search. Consider phrases, tag words, synonyms (don't be afraid to think outside the box). 
Ex: "climate change" OR "climate crisis"  AND "global warming" 

Set up your search: Choose where in the document the database should search for your keywords:
Stick to Keyword or Entire Document 

Developing An Effective Search Strategy

Search Limiters

Choose Your Search Limiters: Always choose "full document" - there is nothing worse than finding what could be the perfect resource, only to  discover you do not have access to the full article, only the abstract (summary). 

Additional Search Limiters: You can further limit your search by date and document type (the type of documents that are searchable can vary by database - unless you need something very specific (primary source, newspaper article, map) you do not have to use this limiter. Similarly using the date limiter is optional, but can be useful especially if you need current information.