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FNDS 1302: Art, Power, and Persuasion

Mardigian Search

Advanced Search

How to Start Your Search

Mardigian Search is a tool used to search through a variety of our library material: books, journal articles, ebooks, etc. It will search the library catalog, plus most of the library's databases and online resources in a single search.

Because Mardigian Search can search through so much though, it can give you millions of results with a single search--this can make it hard to narrow down and refine your search. It's a good place to start if you are doing a preliminary search to get a general idea of what is available on a topic. Use keywords (important themes and words you're interested in researching) to get you started.

These tips are specific for our general Mardigian Search, however, you can apply these same keyword search strategies to anywhere you do research. In the Mardigian Search box above, type in keywords to get you started.

Keyword Searches

  • Keywords are the important themes and words you're interested in researching. You can use the index of a book to find terms that would be good keywords for searches.
  • Try getting inspiration from tags on your initial search results. These are words or phrases that the author/publisher/editor have determined to be major themes or concepts in the piece. Search algorithms match your initial keyword searches with these tags.
  • Don't use filler words like effect, impact, role, or connection as these will muck up the search.
  • When studying art you need to think interdisciplinarily. Ancient art exists in a network of entities and contexts. Think about who commissioned the artwork, who created it (if known), and the historical, political, religious, and other contexts in the time of origin AND in later interpretation.
  • Think of Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How when picking your keywords
  • You may have to look for synonyms or variations to your original keyword search.
  • For example, if you're doing research question is "How do religious ideas show up in Roman art?", your keywords to start with are Religion and Roman Art rather than typing in your whole research question.

More Specific Search and ​Boolean Operators

  • In order to have Roman Art appear as one phrase you will need to add quotations around it (So your search will be [Religion Roman Art"]
  • While this will give results for that contain Religion or Roman Art, it won't give just results with both Religion and Roman Art. In order to have results for Religion and Roman Art, I need to use the Boolean operator AND. My new search would be [Religion AND "Roman Art"]. Now I will have results for both Religion and Roman Art.
  • If I wanted just Religion to appear in my search and not Roman Art I would search for ["Religion" NOT "Roman Art"]. The not indicates that I do not want the following phrase of Roman Art.
  • If I wanted either results for "Religion" or "Roman Art" I would use the following search [Religion OR "Roman Art"]
  • The Boolean operators are AND, OR, and NOT

Select Content Type

  • Choose what format you'd prefer
    • Examples: Book/eBook, Journal Article, Magazine Article, Streaming Video, Web Resources, ...
  • If you don't have a preference you can always leave all of the results in and continue to narrow down by the suggestions below

​​Filter Your Search Results

  • In Mardigian Search, use Refine Your Search on the left hand side
  • Select Disciplines and Subjects that interest you
    • Example of Disciplines: anthropology, architecture, history and archaeology, political science, religion, social sciences, visual art, ...
      • When searching on other platforms like the recommended databases, you may find the following disciplines helpful: classical studies, anthropology, religious studies, art history, history, political science, near eastern studies, social sciences, ...
    • Example of Subjects: archaeology, architecture, art history, greek and roman art, sculpture and carving, ...
      • ​When searching on other platforms like the recommended databases, you may find the following subjects helpful: architecture, sculpture, foreigners, imperialism, Roman, Athens, Achaemenid (Persia), New Kingdom, Armana, persuasion, Akhenaten, Pericles, Roman Art, History - Egypt, religious reform, ...
  • Select the publication date you find most useful by moving the yellow slide scale

Refine Your Search

  • Continue to narrow down your results by changing the Discipline and Subjects selected.
  • Change your keyword search as you go. You will find as you do your research that your initial research question may change and become more specific to narrow down your focus. For the example above, "How do religious ideas show up in Roman art?", you may change this to "How are religious themes represented in the Augustan period in Rome?" You may then change your keyword search to [Religion AND "Roman Art" AND Augustus].
  • Play around with it as you go and contact your professor or the library at ask-the-mardigian@umich.edu.

Scholarly/Peer Reviewed

Your professors may ask you to find scholarly, academic, or peer-reviewed articles. These are articles that have gone through a rigorous review process by the journal they are eventually published in and peers in their field.

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