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This is the "Junior Film Research Paper" page of the "Grayslake Central LRC" guide.
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Junior Film Research Paper Print Page

Keyword Searching

How to Choose Keywords

Follow the three steps below in order to choose effective keywords to find material on your research topic.

Step 1: Identify your research topic

Your research topic is: "Females have brought a positive element to the military."  

Step 2: Identify the major concepts in your topic

The two main elements of the chosen topic are "Female" and "Military"

Step 3: Develop keywords related to the major concepts

Now that you know the major concepts of your topic, think of synonyms that may also describe those concepts. For an example, see the table below:

Major Concept 1: Female
Major Concept 2: Military

For a GREAT resource that helps you build keywords for your research, check out University of Texas' Library Site!  

Also, check out a THESAURUS.  

Synonyms for cinema



North's JSTOR login information is:




Online Databases



  • Full Title
  • Director
  • Release Year
  • Genre
  • Major Actors
  • Major Arguments/Criticisms of Film

General Search Tips

This advice will help you improve your search results:

1. Use at least two or three search terms. By using more search terms to narrow your search, you can locate essays that fit your information needs better. The following sample results are hypothetical:

Search Terms

Number of Hits



War soldier


War soldier confederate


War soldier confederate prisoner


2. Be specific. If you’re looking for information about ancient Rome, enter both of those words in your search. If you enter just Rome, your search may give you essays that discuss modern Rome or Rome, N.Y., but not ancient Rome.

3. Find an exact phrase with the help of the W operator. You can narrow your searches by requiring that the search terms appear as a phrase in the order that you typed them. For example, if you are looking for time travel, search for these words as a phrase, time W1 travel. This narrows your results from hundreds of matches to a few dozen matches, assuming the phrase that you typed is not too common.

4. You can also mix phrases and single search terms in the search box. For example "ancient Rome" AND Caesar.

5. Broaden your search by using OR. For example, racism or prejudice. Unless you tell the search engine otherwise, it finds only those essays containing all of the words that you specify in the order you have specified. By inserting OR between your search words, you’ll find documents that contain as few as one of your requested words. Using OR will increase the number of essays that are found; use OR if your search isn’t finding enough essays.

6. Use plural or other word endings. For example, if you are looking for discussions of murder, search for various forms of the word using the OR operator as the connector, e.g. murder or murders or murderer or murderous. It is also possible, depending on the desired search term, to use the truncation (or wildcard) feature to retrieve both singular and plural forms of a word, e.g. murder*.

7. Try using synonyms for your original words. For example, "nervous breakdown" or "mental breakdown" or "nervous disorder" or "mental instability".

8. Check your spelling. If you type litrature instead of literature, your search won’t find any matches.


The search engine is not case sensitive. That is, use of capitalization does not affect the results of a search. For example, the following keyword searches are considered the same:

  • astronaut and spaceship or "outer space"
  • astronaut AND spaceship OR "outer space"
  • Astronaut and Spaceship or "Outer Space"
  • astroNAUT and spACEship or "oUtEr SpAcE"


Double quotes. The use of double quotes (" ") around a phrase may be used to make the search results more precise. Use of double quotes yields essays in which the words appear adjacent to one another and in the exact order in which you typed them. For example, searching for the phrase gothic romance yields any essays that contain both words in that order (gothic before romance). Using double quotes around the phrase "gothic romance" yields any essay that contains the exact phrase.

When a search yields an error message, try enclosing the search term in double quotes.

Hyphen. A hyphen (-) used between two words is considered part of the term. If you are searching for a word or phrase that normally contains a hyphen, include the hyphen and enclose the word or phrase in quotes:

  • "nineteen-thirties"
  • "self-doubt"

Apostrophe. Apostrophes (’) are not recognized by the search engine and should be deleted from search terms.

  • Salem Lot (instead of Salem’s Lot)
  • Chatterly (instead of Chatterly’s)

Search Operators

The Boolean search operators AND, OR, NOT, and proximity operators may be used to refine your search. Whether the operators are typed in uppercase or lowercase does not affect the search.

AND. Use the AND search operator to retrieve documents that contain both of the specified search terms. This operator places no condition on where the terms are found in relation to one another; however, both terms have to appear somewhere in the field you are searching. For example, a full text search for apples AND bananas will find any essay that contains mention both of apples and bananas.

OR. Use the OR search operator to retrieve documents that contain one or both specified search terms. This operator places no condition on where the terms are found in relation to one another; however, one or both terms must appear somewhere in the field you are searching. For example, a full text search for apples OR bananas will find essays that mention apples, essays that mention bananas, and essays that mention both types of fruit.

NOT. Use the NOT search operator to retrieve documents that do not contain the specified term. For example, a full text search for apples NOT bananas will find essays that mention apples but not bananas.

Parentheses. The operators described above each operate on either simple terms (words or phrases) or a more complex query delimited by parentheses ( ). Parentheses allow you to construct very powerful queries. For example:

  • "pulp fiction" AND ((detective AND crime) OR hard-boiled)
  • ("cowboy*" OR ("gold rush" AND california)) AND (18?? OR nineteenth century)

Boolean operators are applied in the order in which they appear. Therefore, the following searches are equivalent:

  • apples AND bananas OR oranges
  • (apples AND bananas) OR oranges

Database Passwords

Library Catalog

Username: your school username

Password: School ID number


First Search

Username: 100107125

Password: grayslake


Gale Databases

(GVRL, Opposing Viewpoints, LitFinder)

Username: rams

Password: rams



Username: rams

Password: rams



Username: gcentral

Password: rams


SIRS Decades/Researcher

Username: grayslake

Password: rams


ProQuest (Newsstand & Historical)

Username: grayslake

Password: rams


Questions? Ask the library staff for assistance.



Library Books at GCHS

Please check our LIBRARY CATALOG to see what books we have available for your film.  

Books on the cart are the most used for this project and will be released to be checked out FRIDAY, JANUARY 15th.  Please plan accordingly and make photocopies or scan in any parts of the books you might need for your paper BEFORE then.  Ask if you need help making a copy or scanning.

Here is a list of the books we have on the FILM BOOK CART.


Using Google Scholar

Feel free to use Google Scholar as another search option.  Click HERE for some search tips on using Google Scholar.

To do an Advanced Search, click on the down arrow on the right hand side of the search box.


Films Available for Check Out at GCHS

The LRC has a small collection of classic films. These are famous movies that scholars have written about at length, giving you more options for research. If you would like to check out one of these films aske Mrs. Naes or Ms. McGee.  A movie with an R rating will require a parent permission slip before check out.

12 angry men. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, 1957. Film.
2001 a space odyssey.Warner Home Video, 1968. Film.
Adam's rib.Warner Home Video, 1949. Film.
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.Universal Home Video, 1960. Film.
Alien.Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 1979. Film.
All quiet on the western front.Universal Studios Home Entertainment, 1930. Film.
Apocalypse now, the complete dossier.Paramount Home Entertainment, 1979. Film.
Blade runner.Warner Home Video, 1982. Film.
The cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Kino on Video, 1920. Film.
Casablanca.Warner Home Video, 1942. Film.
Chinatown.Paramount Home Entertainment, 1974. Film.
Citizen Kane.Warner Bros. 1941, Film.
Dracula the legacy collection.Universal, 1931. Film.
Frankenstein the legacy collection.Universal, 1931. Film.
Gandhi. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 1982. Film.
The general.Kino, 1926. Film.
The Godfather.Paramount Home Entertainment, 1972. Film.
The good, the bad and the ugly. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1966. Film.
High noon.Lionsgate, 1952. Film.
Invasion of the body snatchers.Republic Entertainment, 1956. Film.
L.A. confidential.Distributed by Warner Home Video, 1997. Film.
The Manchurian candidate.MGM Home Entertainment, 1962. Film.
Mel Brooks' The producers.Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 1968. Film.
Nosferatu.Distributed exclusively by Image Entertainment, 1922. Film.
One flew over the cuckoo's nest. Warner Home Video, 1975. Film.
Ordinary people.Paramount Home Pictures, 1980. DVD.
Pat and Mike.Warner Home Video, 1952. Film.
Raging bull.MGM Home Entertainment, 1980. Film.
Rear window.Universal Studios Home Entertainment, 1954. Film.
The Searchers.Warner Bros. Entertainment, 1956. DVD.
The shining.Distributed by Warner Home Video, 1980. Film.
Singin' in the rain. Warner Home Video,1952. Film.
Some like it hot. MGM, 1959. Film.
A streetcar named Desire.Warner Home Video, 1951. Film.
To kill a mockingbird.Universal, 1962. Film.
The usual suspects.Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, 1995. Film.
The Wolf Man the legacy collection.Universal, 1941. Film.
Woman of the year. Warner Home Video, 1942. Film.

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