Skip to Main Content

Library Tips for your Critical Analysis Assignment

Figure 2. Copely, R. Huge stand in the market with a large selection of fruits [Photograph].

What word or phrase would you use to describe this image? 


Questions to consider when developing your search strategy. 

  • Are you using the terminology that an expert in the field would use?
  • Is there more than one way to spell the word?
  • Are there any synonyms or other terms that could apply to your topic?
  • Are there sub-topics that can help you specify or narrow down your topic? 
  • Consider writing out your topic in a sentence and then highlighting the different concepts within. 
Library Search

Things to remember when using Library Search:

  1. Sign in to save searches, items, and to request materials.

  2. Use the pin icon to save books and articles. 

  3. Use the filters on the right. You will use Availability, Resource Type, and Date filters most often.

  4. Some items won't be available. You can request unavailable items using interlibrary loan.

  5. When viewing an item record, scroll down to the Get It or Full Text section to get the item.

Search Smarter!

You can search in a way to combine or omit different terms by telling the search engine exactly what you want…this can help you save some time (and frustration!)

  • Use quotation marks to keep phrases together - "strain theory"

  • Use  AND to combine search terms - "strain theory" AND "racial profiling"

  • Use OR to connect two or more similar terms - "strain theories" OR "anomie theories"

  • Use wild cards to substitute a letter or suffix with a symbol - societ*  (society, societies, societal etc.)

Search Google Scholar

Google Scholar is another great way to find peer-reviewed/scholarly material. Google Scholar has a nifty citation chaining function.  The "Cited by"  function will forward you to indexed scholarly material that has cited an article that you may be interested in.  The Related Articles link will direct you to similar articles that may have the same metadata or keywords. 

The Advanced Search is found by clicking the menu icon (top left).
Besides providing links to articles in MRU databases, Google Scholar links to online repositories that contain articles the author has been allowed to upload. and ResearchGate are among the repositories searched by Google Scholar.

By clicking on the Settings icon, you can select library links to show library access for up to 5 libraries (type in Mount Royal and click on save).  If you are logged into the MRU library, links should automatically populate if you are running a Google search in another window. 

Generative AI is getting a lot of hype - it has been around for a while but is accelerating at a rapid speed.  These tools offer a variety of functions including generating text from a prompt,  providing summaries of information, fixing and generating code, creating an image from a prompt, and translating text. 

If you are interested in trying it out, it is recommended that you treat it as a supplementary tool rather than your primary approach to research and writing.  Apply the same critical evaluation tools to AI as you would any source.  

Many AI tools fabricate results.  See the example below:



What is the issue with these sources? 

This answer is quite helpful and could direct you to legitimate places to look for academic sources while providing you with advice on how to phrase a search. 

This answer is quite problematic!

Brandon Garrett is a scholar at Duke Law School. But he didn’t write that article!

"DNA Exonerations in the United States is not an article in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Simon Cole is a scholar in forensic criminology, but he did not write that paper!

“The Significance of Wrongful Convictions: A Comparative Study of Miscarriages of Justice in the Criminal Justice Systems of Developed Countries”  is also a fake article!!

  • Cite Sources: Learn the correct way to cite sources by using these guides, tutorials, and videos.
  • Referencing Webinars: APA & MLA. Referencing Webinars are 75 minutes long.  Registration is required.
  • Online Appointments: Personalized online 30-minute appointments with a Learning Strategist.

New SLS APA Referencing Tutorial on D2L

This self-paced 90-minute tutorial covers the same content as our live workshop—why citation is important along with the basics of in-text citations and reference entries in APA Style. Students who complete the tutorial will gain access to a form they can fill out and submit as proof of completion.

Access the tutorial on D2L: Using Google Chrome as your web browser, log in to D2L ( with your account. Click the “Discover” tab, then type “APA” in the search bar. Click on the “APA Referencing Tutorial” link and then the “Enroll in Course” button. If you have any questions about the tutorial, contact


Profile Photo
Madelaine Vanderwerff

Office: EL4441M