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FNDS 3401: Reporting on the Middle East

Mardigian Search

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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
  • For example, if you're doing research question is "How does the Western media portray the Middle East?", your keywords to start with are Media and Middle East rather than typing in your whole research question.

More Specific Search and ​Boolean Operators

  • In order to have Middle East appear as one phrase you will need to add quotations around it (So your search will be [media Middle East"]
  • In order to make sure I'm just seeing results for media and "Middle East" I need to use the Boolean operator AND. My new search would be [media AND "middle East"]. Now I will have results for both media and the Middle East.
  • If I wanted just media to appear in my search and not the Middle East I would search for [Media NOT "Middle East"]. The NOT indicates that I do not want the following phrase of Middle East.
  • If I wanted either results for media or the Middle East I would use the following search [media OR "Middle East"]

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: anthropology, business, economics, geography, government, history & archaeology, international relations, journalism and communication, political science, religion, social sciences, sociology & social history, women's studies ...
    • Example of Subjects: cable television broadcasting industry, coronavirus, covid-19, democracy, economic growth, education, elections, exports, foreign policy, governors, international economic relations, international relations, journalists, local government, political campaigns, politics, ...
  • Select Peer-Review to only view peer-reviewed results.
  • Select the Publication Date to select the time period you're interested in seeing resources from

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 the library ( if you get stuck or confused.

What Is Peer-Review?

The video below outlines what Peer-Review means.

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