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PLAN 052: Race, Sex and Place in America

Research & Writing Guides

How to Evaluate Your Sources

It's easy to get information overload.  Make sure to use the most accurate information available in your research.  Here are a couple of great sites with tips on how to critically evaluate your information resources. 

Save time searching!

Use Google's Advanced Search to limit by date, language and more
Use Operators in Google Searches

Some favorite operators to remember:
Use quotes to search for a phrase in Google

Exclude a word by adding a dash (-) before it

Search for similar words by adding a tilde (~) before a word (located in the top left of your keyboard)

Limit to specific sites or domains using "site:"
For example: [social conflict southeast asia site:edu]
will search for social conflict southeast asia only on sites ending with .edu

General search tips:

Choose effective keywords- what words are likely to appear in the results your want?  What other words might be used?

To search for text on a page:
press the Ctrl and the F keys at the same time (PC) or press the command and F keys at the same time (Mac)

Article searching tips

When searching the article databases, use these tips for better results:

  • Use wildcard characters:  If searching for economic conditions, type the word econ* with an asterisk. That will return economies, economic, economist and any other word that starts with [e c o n].
  • Use quotes:  When searching for two words, quotes will search for the words when they're next to each other.  Thomas Jefferson will return articles with Thomas Payne and Jefferson Starship.  But when "Thomas Jefferson" is searched, only those articles with his name will be returned.

Introduction to Research

Full-Text Newspapers

UNC Catalog Search

Interdisciplinary Article Databases

Article Databases

Curious about how to distinguish among different types of journals? Click here for more information!  Looking for a specific journal, or want to browse journals by subject?  Click here!

  • Last Updated: Sep 17, 2021 2:09 PM
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