Have your search strategies mapped out for authors, keywords and subjects, this will help your search go faster and return better results. If you attended a library resource presentation, look at the Course Guides page for your class to find specific helps that the librarian mentioned in your class.
Note what types of resources you need at the very minimum. How many books, how many articles? Are there restrictions on the type of material to be located (must be scholarly, cannot be more than X number of years old...). Following these requirements will save you grief later.
Use the Keyword field to start.
Use this to more easily search various terms.
BE CAREFUL! The Author and Title options are NOT where you type your author or work's title. These fields are for the author or title of the research you are looking for. As you haven't found 'the' article yet, you don't have the information needed for these fields. Source refers to the journal or book the research was published in and again, you don't have that information yet.
Getting 'More' Set...
You can search by descriptors or subject headings (which frequently duplicate the Library of Congress subject headings you see in the library catalog.) Typing the name of 'your' author in LAST NAME, FIRST NAME order is one possible subject heading.
You will now have a results set. This is a list that will tell you what is available, but MLA will not give you the full text.
YOu will use the GET IT Button and this icon will link you to the full text if available in other databases provided by CSUSM. The link is not successful on searching book chapters, so double check the catalog by the book title.
Therefore, you will not cite MLA as your source database in your bibliography. Use the database name and URL that does provide the full text (JSTOR, Project Muse, etc.)
Before harvesting from this list, learn to read the citations to understand what type of material you are finding. MLA indexes a variety of materials (articles, books, book chapters, dissertations and proceedings), this affects how you locate and access the material.
Results List from a search on Moll Flanders:
--Title of the entry (whether article, book, book chapter, etc.) is the hyperlinked line. Click here to see more information on the entry.
--Author is the person(s) who wrote the article, not the subject of your study.
--Source notes the title of the journal or book that this entry is from.
--Volume, year of publication, and pages within the source are given and needed for any citation or loan request. Books, book chapters and dissertations will also have publisher listed with place of publication.
--Book Article denotes a chapter in a larger work. You would search the CSUSM catalog for the BOOK title, not chapter title.