Tutorials and Handouts

Searching & source help

  • Finding Articles Through the PCC Library (Video, 4:17): This 4:17 video reviews how to find articles using the PCC Library article search and introduces Boolean operators (AND & OR) as well as the use of quotation marks.
  • Choosing a Topic (Video, 3:22): This 3:22 video contains helpful suggestions about how to come up with an idea for a research topic.
  • Turning an Interest into a Research Question (Video, 5:11): In this 5:11 video, you’ll learn how to turn something you find interesting into a researchable question for a college research project.
  • Evaluating Sources: How PCC Students Do It (Video, 7:39): In this 7:39 video, three Portland Community College students talk about how they consider, evaluate and use sources for their own research assignments.
  • Using PCC Library Search (PDF): This PDF tutorial explains how to use the PCC Library’s search on our homepage to find books, videos, course reserves, and articles. It also explains how to access ebooks from your search results and request a book or video from another library if the PCC Library does not have that item.
  • Reading a Search Results Page from a Library Database (Video, 5:11): Library databases are great places to find published articles, but the results pages can be confusing. This 5:11 video will give you some tips to help you find useful results.
  • Know Your Sources (Infographic): When doing research you will come across a lot of information from different types of sources. How do you decide which source to use? From tweets to newspaper articles, this infographic tool provides a brief description of each and breaks down 6 factors of what to consider when selecting a source.
  • Evaluating Sources to Find Quality Research (Video, 5:27): This 5:27 video discusses three questions you should ask in of any source you find in your research.
  • Evaluating Sources on the Web (Video, 4:30): On the web, it can be difficult to tell what type of source you’re looking at and whether or not it’s something that would provide quality evidence for your assignment. This 4:30 video will help you look more critically at your own search results.
  • Whatapedia? (Video, 3:49): This 3:49 YouTube video explains how best to use Wikipedia, Encyclopedias, and other reference materials available both online and through the library to provide background and overview information on a research topic.

Citation help

  • EasyBib (PDF): This PDF tutorial explains how to set up and use EasyBib, a tool that helps you organize and create citations for your paper or research project.
  • MLA 7 Citation Samples (PDF): This guide provides samples of the citation style from the 7th edition of the Modern Language Association (MLA 7). The samples cover various types of media from print to digital.
  • MLA 8 Reference Guide (PDF): This reference guide will help you navigation citation if you are an instructor or student who is using the changes to citation and references outlined in the Modern Language Association’s 8th edition (MLA 8).
  • APA Citation Samples (PDF): This guide provides samples of the citation style from the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • CSE Citation Samples (PDF): This is a guide to citation styles from the CSE (Council of Science Editors).

Database help

  • Credo Reference (PDF): This PDF tutorial explains how to use Credo Reference, which provides online versions of 500 published reference works, including general and specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias. It is a great place to begin your research, get some facts about your topic, then jump to another Library database to find published journal or magazine articles.
  • EBSCOhost (PDF): This PDF tutorial explains how to find published newspaper, magazine and scholarly journal articles on a range of topics in EBSCOhost databases.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library (PDF): This PDF tutorial explains how to use Gale Virtual Reference Library, which helps you get the background information you need to do a well-informed research project. It offers students, researchers, and professionals a wide variety of full-text interdisciplinary content on virtually any subject area to tackle their assignments, papers, projects, and presentations.
  • Google Scholar (PDF): This PDF tutorial explains how: to set preferences to get full-text access while using Google Scholar; save articles to your Google account; obtain full-text articles through the PCC library through Google Scholar; and what to do if you are unable to get full text of an article through Google Scholar.
  • Alt-Press Watch, Ethnic NewsWatch, & GenderWatch (PDF): This PDF tutorial explains how to use the following three databases: Alt-Press Watch (full-text articles from alternative and independent presses); Ethnic NewsWatch (articles from ethnic and minority presses); and GenderWatch (focus in the impact of gender in many subject areas).
  • JSTOR (PDF): This PDF tutorial explains how to use JSTOR, a large collection of scholarly (peer-reviewed) articles strongest in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Opposing Viewpoints (PDF): This PDF tutorial explains how to use Opposing Viewpoints, which provides opinion essays on current issues, news and magazine articles, court case overviews, and more.
  • PsycINFO (PDF): This PDF tutorial explains how to use the PsycINFO database, which has peer-reviewed articles from scholarly journals, book chapters, and dissertations in psychology, behavioral science and mental health.
  • Science Direct (PDF): This PDF tutorial explains how to use Science Direct, which provides full text articles for peer-reviewed life sciences, Health Science, physical sciences, and engineering journals with citation information for thousands more.
  • SIRS Knowledge Source (PDF): This PDF tutorial explains how to use SIRS Knowledge Source, which is updated daily to provide information on current social issues,economics, business, politics, global issues, scientific developments, health, history, government, culture, the arts and humanities.
  • Standard & Poor’s (PDF) : This PDF tutorial explains how to use Standard & Poor’s database, which provides industry reports for sectors in the United States and company profiles for publicly traded corporations.
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