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COMM/COMP/WGST 466: Arguing Feminism

Mardigian Search

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.

More Specific Search and ​Boolean Operators

  • If you want to know more about feminism in the 20th century, a good starting search could be [feminism 19th century]. This will provide a search for women or life or 19th or century. To narrow this down we'll use some Boolean operators and quotation marks.
    • Let's search instead for [feminism AND "20th century"]. This will show results for the exact phrase "20th century" and the term feminism. This will remove any results that were only about feminism or only about the 20th century.
  • If I wanted just feminism to appear in my search and not limit to results about the 20th century I would search for [feminism NOT "20th century"]. The NOT indicates that I do not want the following phrase of 20th century.
  • If I wanted either results for feminism or the 20th century I would use the following search [feminism OR "20th century"]
  • As you're going through this initial search process you'll likely change your search terms many times using synonyms to find similar results and also refining your keywords as you learn more about what it is you're really interested in researching. When searching with numbers, a lot of databases like Mardigian Search search for both 20th and twentieth as they appear in the tags. But some databases are not as sophisticated, so you may have to try a couple different types of the search with 20th and twentieth.
  • Another great search option is the wildcard (*). The wildcard is represented by an * and is placed at the end of a word to autocomplete it with any potential ending. For example, if I wanted to broaden my search to search for feminism, feminist, and feminists I could search for [feminis*]. That asterisk is going to auto complete the word to search for all three variations I previously mentioned.

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, history & archaeology, international relations, philosophy, psychology, social welfare & social work, women's studies, ...
    • Example of Subjects: 20th century, african american studies, american history, american literature, american studies, biographies, criticism & interpretation, cultural studies, essays, ethics, ethnic studies, females, feminism, gender, gender identity, gender studies, history & criticism, literature, twentieth century, women's rights, women's studies, ...
  • Select peer-review to only view peer-reviewed results.
  • Select the publication date you find most useful by moving the yellow slide scale. You can limit to just results from the 20th century with this.

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 at

What Is Peer-Review?

The video below outlines what Peer-Review means.

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