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The Paper Chase

This exercise is designed to acquaint you with some on-line library resources useful for course work and especially for required research papers.

Successful completion of the exercise should provide you with a rudimentary knowledge of basic search strategy which can be transferred to all libraries available to you in the future.

The primary resources in any library are the people that staff it. Please feel free to make frequent use of this most important and basic resource as often as necessary in the course of conducting your research.

We hope that you find this search interesting as well as informative.

Select one (1) topic from the list below and begin your search. Don't forget to type it into the box! The topics are intended to appeal to a variety of interests, so please give some thought to your selection.


 AIDS (disease)

 Child abuse

 College costs

 Hmong culture

 Earthquake prediction

 Ingmar Bergman

 Hazardous waste disposal

Cesar Chavez

 Job hunting

 Right to die


 Water pollution

 Sigmund Freud

 Gang violence

 Condoleeza Rice

I. Mc4Me Portal

Merced College students have access to a variety of online resources via the Mc4Me campus portal.  Magazines, newspapers and scholarly journals, as well as encyclopedias, are provided once you login to the portal. To help you login, there are some basic instruction links on the portal login page.

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II. Catalog -- Books

Attempt to locate one or more book titles relevant to your subject, using the automated catalog within the MyMCCD Portal (and can also be reached at Web Cat). Remember to try related subject headings.

From the records having the titles which sound most useful to you, secure the following information:   (Remember to click on the details box for complete bibliographic entry.)



Place, Publisher, & Date of publication:

Related subject headings in the catalog under which this same book is listed:

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III. EbscoHost - Magazines

EbscoHost provides 22 different databases with many full text sources for magazine and journal articles. It is available in the library, and through the library home page via the Internet. Using this source, locate articles relevant to your selected topic.

Databases selected:

Select one of the citations and provide the following information:

Title of article:

Author of article:

Name of publication containing article:

Date of publication:  Vol. No.  Page(s) of article: 

Is the full text available online for this article?  (Type in Yes or No)

Does this library subscribe to this publication in print?  (Type in Yes or No)

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IV. Lexis-Nexis - Newspapers, legal information, business data and more!

Lexis-Nexis provides extensive databases of full text information, primarily from periodicals, emphasizing news, business, legal and medical topics.

Select one section to use to locate information on your topic which will provide information relevant to it. For example, if you are researching AIDS (disease), use the Medical section.

Section selected:

Select one of the citations and provide the following information:

Title of article:

Author of article:

Name of publication containing article:

Date of publication:   Vol. No.:   Page(s) of article:

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V. Newsbank

Newsbank provides full text articles from newspapers around the United States, including the New York Times back to 2000, the Merced Sun-Star, Modesto Bee, Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee, and San Francisco Chronicle. Find an article relevant to your selected topic and provide the following information:

Name/Title of newspaper ,

Date of newspaper  ,

Number of words  ,

Author of article  ,

Headline for article  ,

Desk/Section of newspaper  .

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VI. Internet

The Internet provides access to millions of information sources. Some of these are appropriate for use in scholarly research and some are not.

As you identify and look at resources available on the Internet use the same criteria for evaluating the information you see as you would if you were reading a newspaper or other periodical, realizing all information available on the 'Net' may not be factual, reasonable, current, or scholarly in nature.

Using two of the following Internet resources, look for information relevant to your topic:



Librarian’s Index to the Internet:

List two (2) relevant Web addresses discovered in your search:

1. http://

2. http://

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Submission Information

Type in your first and last name:

Type in your e-mail Address:

Type in the name of the class you are taking (example: FCSC 10 - Nutrition):

Type in the e-mail address of your instructor:

Click here to e-mail the finished assignment to your instructor.

or print the Paper Chase by clicking on thebutton at the top of the screen.

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Merced College
3600 M Street
Merced, CA 95348

Copyright 2010 by Susan Walsh, Ed Brush, and Dee Near

Last updated by: Susan Walsh, Ed Brush, and Dee Near 01/23/2015