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ENGL 1210 / 2210: Research Tools

Research Centers & Think Tanks

Curious to know what various research centers and think tanks have to say and report on your topic? Use the search box below to search over 1200 prominent think tanks. 

Specialized Dictionaries

Need a definition for a technical or industry-specific term?
Unlike general dictionaries such as Merriam-Webster, Specialized Dictionaries can be very helpful because they are discipline-specific. 
Use the links below to get connected to industry-specific online dictionaries.

Note: You will be prompted to log in with your MySFCC credentials. 

Need a definition for a technical or industry-specific term? 
Unlike general dictionaries such as Merriam-Webster, Specialized Dictionaries can be very helpful because they are discipline-specific. 
Use the links below to get connected to industry-specific online dictionaries.

Art

Business, Finance & Economics

Culinary Arts

Health & Medicine

Law

Mathematics & Statistics

Psychology

Religion & Theology

Technology and Engineering

Veterinary Medicine

Research Resources

Newspaper articles can be a great way to learn who's a recognized expert!

When scanning newspaper articles, ask yourself:

  • Who's being interviewed? What names are you seeing over and over again?
  • Has one particular reporter written a lot about a specific issue?
  • Who seem to be the key players? 

The answers to those questions are the people you'll want to contact. But how do you contact them? A few things to keep in mind:

  • Reporters
    Their contact information (most likely an email address) should be at the top or bottom of the article. 
    Are you on Twitter? Oftentimes a reporter's Twitter handle is listed. 

     
  • Someone's contact info isn't listed? Google them!
    Be sure you're spelling their name correctly. It may help to add their job title and city to your search.  

Don't be afraid to contact people - they expect it!

Sometimes it's better to look for information on the open web (ie. Google, Bing...), especially if you're looking for, say, up-to-date statistics, relevant survey/poll results or contact information for a company or agency. 

But there are several things you can do to make your internet searching more effective at bringing back credible and relevant results. 

 

SPECIFY A DOMAIN

Use Google's  site:   operator to tell Google to only bring you back results from a specific domain - such as .gov, .org or .edu.
Type   site:org   or   site:edu   or   site:gov   into the search box, along with your search terms. 

Examples:       
site:edu college retention strategies 
Fetches results from only .edu sites about college retention strategies 

site:gov statistics heart disease united states 
Fetches results from only .gov sites about U.S. heart disease statistics

site:org water treatment guidelines 
Fetches results from only .org sites about water treatment guidelines 

 

SPECIFY A FILETYPE

Use Google's  filetype:   operator to tell Google to only bring you back results in a specific file format - such as PDF or PPT. 
This can be particularly helpful if you are looking for reports, which, if made available on the open web, are often published via PDF, PPT, XLS or something similar.    
Type   filetype:pdf   or   filetype:ppt   or   filetype:xls   into the search box, along with your search terms. 

Examples:       
filetype:pdf college retention reports 
Fetches only .PDF files (ie. reports) about college retention strategies

filetype:ppt college retention reports 
Fetches only .PPT files (ie. presentations) about college retention strategies
 

 

COMBINE SEARCH OPERATORS! Yes, you can do this!

Combine search operators to further optimize your search!

Example:      
site:edu filetype:pdf college retention reports 
Fetches only .PDF files from .edu sites about college retention strategies

 

Check out this page for even more Advanced Google Search tips: https://ahrefs.com/blog/google-advanced-search-operators/   

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