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HCAD 3360: Health Education and Promotion

This guide was created for Prof. Bonifacio Vega's HCAD/HLSC 3360 class.

Search Strategies, Evaluating Source Credibility, & More!

Take a moment to share your group topic on the Padlet below. Simply double-click on the page or click on the plus sign to post your topic. If you are still deciding on your topic, that's ok too! 

Made with Padlet

Things to know: We'll be exploring basic boolean searching in Quick Search with the topics you shared in the introduction. Quick Search gives you access to all of the library's content, including scholarly articles, books, and more.


The three words are and, or, and not. Take a look at the image to the right to get a sense of how they work. 


AND tends to narrow searches because all words must be included in results.

OR tends to broaden searches because one or other terms (or all) can be present in results.

NOT selectively eliminates any results containing a specified word.



The two symbols are "quotation marks" and the asterisk *.

"Quotation marks" searches for groups of words together. This works best if you are looking for a title or phrase. 


The asterisk * is usually found above the number eight on most keyboards. Use the asterisk * to abbreviate words so you can find all possible spelling variations in your search results. It will also make your search results increase, typically.

Credible information is: 

  • Information that is capable of being believed; believable or plausible.
  • Factors that could impact credibility of a resource include the author, and the publication.
  • Ask yourself, "how credible the resource is for the assigned task?"

Suitable information is:

  • Information that is appropriate for a particular person, situation, etc; fitting.
  • Factors that could impact suitability include the format and currency of the resource, and the relevancy of the resource to the your target audience's needs.
  • Ask yourself, "how suitable the resource is for the assigned task?"




It's also helpful to keep the differences between clinical (includes scholarly) health information vs. consumer health information in mind as you search!

Clinical health information is:

  • Information written for and produced by medical professionals
  • Includes content from scholarly and peer-reviewed journals
  • Contains technical language and assumes a high level of training, familiarity, and comes from a practitioner's perspective.

Consumer health information is:

  • Information designed to be educational, user-friendly, and understandable for people who are not medical professionals
  • Can include resources about prevention, wellness, diseases and conditions, treatment, healthcare options, and more


Reference: Arnott-Smith, C..and Alla K., (2015).  Meeting health information needs outside of healthcare : Opportunities and challenges. Elsevier Science.

Lateral reading is using other websites and sources to verify claims and content on websites you are evaluating. It is a strategy used by professional fact-checkers. It's as simple as opening up a few more windows on your browser and searching other sites for claims, persons, things, and events to verify content as  your read the source page.

It's different than vertical reading, which is when you stay on a website and follow the links or analyze the content on your source page without verifying with outside sources. 

Let's do a quick lateral reading demonstration - try your hand at fact-checking any one of the the websites listed below:

The Writing Center is your place to go for help with citation styles and formatting! They also offer workshops and in-person and online consultations!

Here are some helpful links related to getting assistance with writing and APA style!

Databases and Websites

Take a look at the selected professional and consumer databases and websites listed below. Or explore the entire Nursing and Health Sciences database list from the library's website.

Note: As a TAMUCC student you have access to library databases for a full year (365 days) after you graduate or leave TAMUCC.