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ENG 110 College Writing I

Article Databases

Search databases for articles from academic and trade journals, news sources, and other media which are not free on the web.  

There are many other general knowledge and subject-specific databases available through our database index.

Databases: Getting Started

Databases: Filtering and Sorting Search Results

Databases: Keyword Searching

Databases: Advanced Searches

Databases: Subject Headings

Database Research Process

  1. Choose a Database; use Advanced Search option if available
  2. Enter keywords
    • Spelling counts
    • Try synonyms, related terms, opposites
    • Use quotation marks (“ “) around compound keywords of two or more words
  3. Use limiters and sort options in Results View to focus results by source type, date, subject, etc. Check to see if you need to select a full text option. 
  4. Skim titles, click on promising titles to see Detail View for abstract/summary, document information, subject headings/tags, full text.
  5. Read relevant items; get references/keywords/subjects; Download (to your Home (o:) drive or flash drive), e-mail, get citations.
  6. Take notes on keyword formulas used in the database searched; Repeat, or move to other databases and repeat.

Searching the Web

There is a wealth of valid, reliable information on the web. Unfortunately, the internet is also rife with misinformation.  Consider the following factors to help insure that your web sources are trustworthy.

Evaluating Websites

  • Topic Relevance
    • Is the site helpful in supporting your thesis?
    • Is information given accurate?
  • Site Design Quality
    • Is the site maintained regularly?
    • Does it feature an “About Us” link?
    • Does it provide a way to contact the author(s)?
    • Does it look polished and professional vs. minimal and amateurish?  Are there spelling and grammatical errors?
  • Sponsor
    • Who is the author? Expert in the field?
    • .edu and .gov are generally considered reliable sites
    • Are alternate views given?
    • Is there a bias?
    • What is the reputation of the sponsor/author? Do other reliable/reputable websites or entities refer to it or its authors favorably? New York Times is widely considered a reliable source, for instance.
  • Objectivity/Accuracy
    • Are facts & opinions delineated?
    • Have sources been cited?
    • Does the advertising affect the content of the website?
    • Does the information reflect current thinking?
    • Check facts with another source!