Thomas Ford Memorial Library

Working on a research paper?

Here’s how you…

Find books

  • Use the Online Catalog
  • Use the keyword search to find your topic.
  • Group phrases together with quotation marks (“underage drinking”) and group similar terms together using the word and (teens and drinking).
  • If you are having trouble, try varying your search terms (underage drinking, alcoholism, alcohol and teens, teens and “alcohol use”).

Find articles from magazines, journals or newspapers in our databases

  • From the Research dropdown tab above, choose Databases.
  • Choose the database you would like to use. We recommend starting with MasterFILE Premier or Wilson OmniFile for full text articles from magazines, newspapers, as well as images, maps, and more.
  • If you’d like to broaden out from these two databases, use the Subject Guide to find a database that suits your project.
  • Type in your topic. Use similar strategies to those listed under Find Books.
  • Lyons Township High School students – additional databases from your school are here.

Find articles from reference books and encyclopedias

Use Gale Virtual Reference:

      an excellent collection of digital reference books.

Try our reference section.

      • The reference books are on shelves after the Biography section, near the back windows of the reference room.
      • These books can be checked out, or you may copy any needed pages if you don’t want to take the book home.
      • Reference books will have similar call numbers to those you used to find the books on your topic, but will have an “R” in front of them (ie: R616/AME).
      • If you can’t find a reference book on your exact topic, think more broadly (ie: underage drinking is a health issue and a social issue – try a health or sociology encyclopedia.)

Learn more about finding and analyzing information in our Guide to Doing Research.

And don’t forget, you can always ask a librarian! We’re here to help!