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Library Research Guides

ENGWR 301 - Professor O'Brien (Spring 2020): OneSearch: Books & Articles

What Should I Do on This Page?

Now that you've explored the preliminary databases and have collected some background information on your topic, it's time to begin conducting some reference research, and OneSearch is just the tool to use for that. 

The first step you should take is to watch the OneSearch in One Minute video. 

Once you've watched the video, you'll be ready to dive into OneSearch, and you can start by using the 1-3 keywords that you used in the preliminary databases, but now you can also add more relevant keywords to refine your topic (see the Search Tips box below).

If you'd like to see some of the search tips used in action, watch the Quick Tips & Shortcuts for Database Searching video (NOTE: The database used in this video may look a bit different from OneSearch, but the tools are similar).

Remember, if you have any questions, you can:

  • Email me directly at: (I'll email you back within 24 hours Mon - Fri).
  • Use the 24/7 Chat with a Librarian global service (staffed by an international team of librarians).
  • Call the Research Help Desk (916-484-8458) and leave a message.  A librarian will call you back within 24 hours (Mon - Fri).

OneSearch in One Minute Video

OneSearch Demonstration

Quick Tips & Shortcuts for Database Searching

Literary Criticism


OneSearch can search just about all of the Los Rios Libraries databases simultaneously.  Find the best books and eBooks, academic articles, news articles, videos and more in one simple search!

Sample Topic: 

Potential employers should/should not be able to request access to your password-protected Facebook account.

Sample Searches: 

  1. employer access facebook
  2. employer access (facebook or social media)
  3. employer password* (facebook or social media)

Remember to take advantage of the limiters on the left of your search results to ensure you are getting current resources that you can access!

Basic Search Tips


  • 3-5 keywords often works well
  • Take advantage of the limiters on the left of your search results to get current and relevant results.
  • Try different keywords (think synonyms)
    • dog
    • puppy
    • hound


  • Put exact phrases in quotation marks but remember SPELLING COUNTS!
    • “time management”
    • “social media"


  • Brainstorm some additional search terms
    • equal rights: equality, social justice, suffrage
    • philanthropy: altruism, charity, generosity, endowment


  • Use operators to link ideas and narrow/broaden your search
    • “driver's license” AND elderly
    • “death penalty” OR “capital punishment”
    • “united states” NOT europe


  • Use an asterisk (*) to expand your search to other variations of a root word
    • succe* - returns results for "success", "successful", "succeed", etc. 
    • determin* - returns results for "determined", "determination", etc.