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MS7: Choosing to Participate Project: Getting Started

Brainstorm for Search Terms

What keywords are connected with your topic? Before you begin your search, create a list of words you might want to try searching. Remember -- be flexible! It is important to try many different search terms, because -- unlike Google -- the library catalog isn't very good at guessing what you mean. It will only look for the exact words you type in
  • If I'm researching World War I, I might try typing "World War I" in the search bar, but I can also try looking for "Great War" (which is what people called the war at the time) or for specific people or battles like "Battle of Aleppo" or "Archduke Ferdinand." 
  • If you get too many results, try using a more specific search term. For example, looking for "Civil Rights" will find 716 books! If you search for "March on Washington," you only find 9 books.
  • If you get too few search results, try using a more general search term. For example, if I look for "Princess Leia," no books show up, but if I try "Star Wars" I find 81 books. Princess Leia doesn't appear in the book title, the plot description, or the subject headings -- which is why nothing showed up when I searched for her name -- but I can make a good guess that one of the general Star Wars books will discuss her.

Selecting Sources

You are all doing projects on very different topics, so each of you will need different kinds of resources. The best place to start is the library catalog, where you can find many resources. Those of you doing more academic projects will get the most out of Cox Library's online databases, which pull together different kinds of credible, scholarly material -- magazine and newspaper articles, journal articles, primary documents, encyclopedia entries. People researching very recent topics may find more useful information by looking at other websites.

Check on the next few pages for links to our book catalog, our online databases, and a list of helpful websites

Academic Integrity Statement

We expect complete integrity in all matters, personal and academic. Truthfulness, even in the face of social pressure, is one of the values the School most wishes to establish. Any lie by a student to an adult in the community is considered a major offense.

a. Academic integrity is fundamental to a school, and Milton Academy expects that all students will act honestly in every part of their academic lives. Cheating is a serious breach of our academic standard. The School recognizes that a variety of types of cheating can occur. During the fall of each year, the faculty review with students the School’s standards regarding academic integrity and cheating. One type of cheating that we try especially hard to educate students about is plagiarism, the act of taking someone else’s work as your standards, rules and expectations 27 own. “Work” in this context could be someone else’s thinking or someone else’s writing. Students may not turn in previously completed work for new credit without explicit permission of the instructor.

b. Personal Integrity: Students are expected to act with honesty and integrity. Dishonesty is considered a violation of the School’s fundamental values. Lying seriously compromises trust within the community in a way that the School cannot tolerate. Students need to be aware that lying includes, but is not limited to, any false representation verbally or in writing (for example, signing in another student for an assembly, a class or other required 


The resource guide was created by Beth Reardon, based upon an original guide by Emma Johnson.