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More Research Help

For more detailed research help visit the Mahoney Research Guide.

Sources of Information

Before you start searching, you may want to consider what kinds of information you need. For example:

  • Do you need the most up-to-date information? You may need news sources.
  • Do you need scholarly or historical information? You may need journal articles, books, or educational websites.
  • Do you need data and statistics? You may need to use government or organizational websites.

Know Your Sources

Know Your Sources

See the rest of this infographic from the Portland Community College Library for more information about sources of information!

MARVEL Databases

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Google Web Search

Identifying Keywords

The keywords you use can have a huge impact on the results of your search. 


Every word counts! Avoid searching sentences or entire questions. (For example, try searching "who," "the who," and "a who" in Google and compare the results.)


You can identify keywords by scanning: 

  • Your research questions
  • Articles found from background research
  • Bibliographies found at the end of books and articles

If you are still struggling:

  • Use a thesaurus to identify synonyms.
  • Find pictures related to your topic, then describe them.
  • Brainstorm keywords with a librarian, your instructor, or a friend.

How To Be A Google Search Star

Ms. Elizabeth Gartley | Daniel F. Mahoney Middle School | 240 Ocean Street | South Portland, Maine | 04106 | Tel: 207-799-7386