Science Experiment

Research Guide

Why is background research necessary?

The goal during independent research is to gain a better understanding of your topic.

  • So that you can design an experiment without starting from scratch
  • So that you can avoid mistakes made by others
  • So that you better understand the hows and whys of your results
  • To find out information on similar experiments or inventions
  • The research done to answer the keyword questions should lead you to forming a hypothesis

All of these answers can by found in the library and on the internet. To sum it up, research saves time.

Applicable Resources

  • Use the following resources to guide your background research.

World Book Encyclopedia

You might need to get a bit more basic information to begin your research. An encyclopedia is a good starting point.

Click here to access the World Book Encyclopedia (Use MackinVia to access from home or the library website).


Books in Print Form

Click here to access the CMS online source for print materials (Horizon).
  • Use the title or ISBN to cite your books using Easybib


Click here to access the Frisco Public Library's online search tool for Print Books


Helpful "How to Use Easybib" video at the bottom of this page

Books in Electronic Format

The Clark Library provides e-book access using two different platforms.

Click here for the Frisco ISD ebook listing (limited to two checkouts with a limited number of copies)
  1. Log in using your student ID number
  2. Place book in your cart
  3. Download Overdrive to computer or the Overdrive App to your device
  4. Download the correct book for your device
  5. Use Easybib to "Cite" the book source
  6. Type in the title, or ISBN and then select E-book: Online


Click here for the CMS ebook holdings through MackinVia (small selection of classic books with unlimited copies)

  1. Log in to MackinVia using the username and password given to you by the Librarian
  2. Select ebooks from the left margin
  3. Locate resource
  4. Scroll through selection, click more to get a complete description of book
  5. At the top of the Description page you can use the "Cite" button to transfer your citation to Easybib
  6. Open to read


Click here for the Frisco Public Library's digital catalog for eBooks

  1. Make sure that "Digital Catalog" is selected on the top right
  2. Select your search criteria (author, keyword, or all fields, etc.) and then your search phrase
  3. Scroll through your choices
  4. Select an eBook (availability is listed at bottom)
  5. Select Download
  6. Make sure the correct format is available
  7. Select Download again
  8. Enter your library card ID and Password
  9. Download Overdrive to computer or the Overdrive App to your device
  10. Use Easybib to "Cite" the book source
  11. Type in the title, or ISBN and then select E-book: Online



If you can't find anything with these three sources, you can try finding a free e-book from Google Books.


Click here to go to the advanced Google Books Search.

  1. In the "Find Results" box type in your topic or subject
  2. Under "Search" select "Google eBooks only"
  3. Under "Content" select "Books"
  4. Determine if there is any other pertinent information you need to complete
  5. Click "Google Search"
  6. Scroll through your list of returned items for the term "free" in the description
  7. Use Easybib to "Cite" the book source
  8. Type in the title, or ISBN and then select E-book: Online

Accessing and Citing Electronic Databases

  • To find electronic articles for your science topic, access the databases listed below.


  • To access databases at home, log in to Mackin Via with the username and password provided by your librarian.

Gale Database

Student Resources in Context


  1. Go to the Gale database. (Use Mackinvia from home or the library website)
  2. Scroll down to Student Resources in Context
  3. Click on the tab and continue or just open
  4. On the main page, scroll down to "Science and Health"
  5. Try and locate your topic
  6. Or search using your keywords
  7. Once you have found a useable source either save or print the information
  8. Select "Cite" to the right of the screen to download to Easybib
  9. Download all citations to Google Docs when ready


Ebsco Databases

Ebscohost Web


  1. Go to the Ebsco database. (Use Mackinvia from home or the library website)
  2. Click "Ebscohost web"
  3. Select sources that match your topic such as "GreenFile, Alt HealthWatch, Consumer Health Complete, MedLine, and Science and Technology Complete"
  4. Click "Basic Search"
  5. Type in the subject and select "Search"
  6. If you need to search two terms then use the word and between the keywords
  7. Select Linked Full Text Articles
  8. Click "Search".
  9. Once you have found a useable source either save or print the information
  10. Select "Cite" on the right hand side of the screen to copy and paste your citation to your Works Cited page in Google Docs



Student Research Center


  1. Go to the Ebsco database. (Use Mackinvia from home or the library website)
  2. Click "Student Research Center"
  3. Click "Advanced Search"
  4. Type in the subject and select search
  5. If you need to search two terms then use the word and between the keywords
  6. Uncheck all source types, except "Magazines, Newspapers, and Encyclopedias"
  7. Select Linked Full Text Articles
  8. Click "search".
  9. Once you have found a useable source either save or print the information
  10. Select "Save" at the top of the screen to create a citation
  11. Copy and paste your citation to your Works Cited page in Google Docs

Google Scholar

If you still can't find a database source, try Google Scholar

  1. Go to Google Scholar
  2. Type in the title of your topic in quotation marks, and the source type in quotation marks
  3. Click enter on your keyboard
  4. Use Easybib to create citations

Final Research Paper Outline

All of your research helps you to better understand the project leading to the completion of a background research paper:

  • 1st Part: Introduction
  • 2nd Part: Importance to Society
  • 3rd Part: Historical Background
  • 4th Part: New Ideas and Theories
  • 5th Part: Closing or Summary


Checklist for Evaluating Information from the World Wide Web

You should always evaluate information found on the Internet. START is an acronym that will help you remember the five categories of criteria for evaluating information sources found online.

The letters in the acronym stand for:

  • Scope
  • Treatment
  • Authority
  • Relevance
  • Timeliness


Click on the link below to see the full source evaluation checklist and description.

MLA Formatting

    Use the sources below to help in formatting your paper or project in the proper MLA format.


    Easybib Quick Guide to MLA


    Easybib Quick Guide to Intext Citations


    Printable Version of the MLA In-Text Citation Guide (Extensive)


    Purdue Owl


    CSU Oviatt Library MLA Quick Guide




    View the videos below for additional help regarding MLA formatting.

    A brief introduction to EasyBib
    Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting - The Basics
    Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting: List of Works Cited

    Need Assistance

    If you are having trouble or have a question about a resources availability or use please e-mail me with a question.

    Thanks,

    Mrs. Taber
    Your CMS Source Librarian