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 for full text articles from magazines, newspapers, as well as images, maps, and more.
  • If you’d like to broaden out after MasterFILE, 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!