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FNDS 1607: Real Housewives of Crime

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 come up with these key words by making a search web with your research question, or in this case, myth you'd like to bust in the middle. Then start attaching connected keywords and thoughts you think would be relevant to your search.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Key search terms for this course could include: comparative criminal justice policy, crime and media, critical discourse analysis, global criminology, moral panic, newsmaking criminology...
  • Let's use Amanda Knox's case as our search example:
    • WHO: Amanda Knox, Meredith Kercher, Raffaele Sollecito, Rudy Guede, Roommate
    • WHAT: Conviction, Murder, Overturned, Acquitted
    • WHEN: 2007, 2009
    • WHERE: Italy, Perugia, Study Abroad, College
    • WHY: Murder, Death, Killing
    • HOW: Knife, Boyfriend

More Specific Search and ​Boolean Operators

  • Use keywords and Boolean Operators to broaden and narrow down your search
  • You could start with [Amanda Knox] as your initial search
    • You can narrow this down to an exact phrase by adding quotation marks: ["Amanda Knox"]
  • Add some other important keywords and connect them with the Boolean Operators AND, OR, NOT to clarify what you want included in your search results

  • You can use the Boolean Operators to broaden and narrow down your search
    • ["Amanda Knox" AND murder AND acquitted]
  • The use of parenthesis ( ) create compound queries that can include multiple keywords, phrases, and be connected with AND, OR, NOT 
    • ["Amanda Knox" AND (murder OR killing) AND acquitted]

Select Content Type

  • Choose what format you'd prefer on the left hand side under Content Type
    • 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: anatomy & physiology, anthropology, biology, government, journalism and communication, law, psychology, social sciences, social welfare & social work, sociology & social history, statistics, women's studies, ...
    • Example of Subjects: acquittals & mistrials, age, attorneys, cable television broadcasting industry, catholic churches, cemeteries, children & youth, christianity, coaches & managers, college students, convictions, court decisions, ...
  • Select peer-review to only view peer-reviewed results.
  • 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.
  • Play around with it as you go and contact your professor or contact the library at

What Is Peer-Review?

The video below outlines what Peer-Review means.

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