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CUR 557 - Capstone Experience Development: Finding Articles

Best Bets

Research Starter

Research Starter


Find scholarly & popular articles, books & ebooks, CDs, DVDs, and more

Search Tips

Requesting via Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Does this image below pop up when you try to access an article you found? Don't freak out! This just means that you can request the article through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). 

  • Click the green button, and it'll take you to the ILL login page. Log in using your McDaniel email username and password. 
  • If you have not already created an ILLiad account, you will be prompted to take a minute to fill our your contact information to do so.
  • Next, the citation information will automatically populate into the request form, so all you have to do is double check that the information is accurate. The more information we have about the item, the faster we can process your request.
  • Select "Submit Request" at the bottom of the page to complete your request. 
  • You will be notified by email when your item is available for you to access and download in your ILLiad account. 


Searching Tips and Tricks to Try
1. Try searching keywords that are related to or synonyms of your original search terms
  • For example, instead of "teenager," try "adolescent"
  • Instead of "elementary school," try "grammar school," "K-6," or "primary school"
  • You might have to try a narrower, more specific term (ex: "geometry" instead of "mathematics")
  • You also might have to try a broader, more general term (ex: "special needs" instead of "gifted")
  • Just keep trying different keywords, and ask a librarian if you get stuck!

2. Use the words AND and OR to search for more than one term at a time 

  • You can do this in most databases, including the best bets listed on this page
  • Use "deaf" AND "elementary" to find only articles that include both the terms


  • Use "deaf" OR "elementary" to find all articles that include "deaf" as well as all articles that include "elementary" (but not necessarily both). This will return a lot more results than using AND.


3. Use parentheses to search for phrases or groupings of words

  • This will search the terms you searched within the parentheses in exactly that order
  • Example: "lifespan development"
  • This is also useful when you know the exact title of the article you are looking for (see image below)


4. Look closely at the abstract and subjects/descriptors

  • When you find an article that looks promising, look at the abstract (the short description of the article) to get more ideas for keywords to search.
  • Looking in the abstract first also helps you make sure the article is relevant to your topic before you dive in to the full text of the article.
  • The subjects/descriptors can give you more ideas of keywords as well.


5. Look at the reference list at the end of the article for more search ideas

  • The "References" or "Works Cited" pages are full of sources the author used to do their research.
  • This is one of the best places to look for additional articles for your own research!
  • If you need help tracking down an article this way, let a librarian know!

6. Ask a librarian!

  • Last but not least, if you have a hard time or have a question, please feel free to ask a librarian for help--that's what we're here for!