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English 115

Amanda Harrison

This guide has been archived and may have outdated information or broken links.

The following resources are designed to support English 115 students with finding articles and books for a university level research paper. Details about Essay #2 - Music Videos can be accessed here.

Overview of the Research Process

As you begin your research, consider taking the following steps.

1. Create a research question or statement about the video you are analyzing.

2. Create a list of search terms (also known as keywords) that will assist you in finding information about your question or statement. Think of as many as possible. You may also add to this list of terms while you are searching in the databases.

3. Identify the types of periodicals and other sources you need for the assignment (number of books or articles required).

4. Select and search in the library catalog for books and appropriate subscription databases for articles.

5. Cite your sources in MLA Citation Style.

Searching in the Library Catalog

Searching the library catalog for books can be a good place to start your research.

How to use the Library Catalog

  • Using your list of search terms, search the Oviatt Library Catalog for books
    1. Keyword vs. Subject search. These two things work differently so be sure to try both.
    2. Title or author search if you know exactly what book you need.
    3. Write down the location and call number (the call number serves as an address, it tells you where the book is located in the library). Once you find the book on the shelf, look at the other books around it. Similar books will be shelved in the same area.
  • Finding Books in the library - reading a call number

You may want to start with a KEYWORD search which is the broadest search by entering the word(s) that represent the main idea of your topic. SUBJECT searching allows you to search by category in the catalog and can also lead you to find books on your topic.

Database Searching Tips

Searching for information in the library databases works differently than searching for information on the Internet. When searching in library databases, sentences can not be entered in the search box(es) to search. (You will get very poor results, if any.) Instead, library databases require you to enter search terms with the Boolean operators - "AND," "OR," "NOT" connecting each search terms/keyword. See the library's Boolean Searching page for a more detailed description and other helpful information.

Searching for Articles Through Databases at the Oviatt Library

The following databases may be useful places to start your research. You will need your campus User ID and Password to enter these databases if you are not in the library. (This is the same User ID and Password you use to access the portal and your CSUN email account.)

Academic Search Elite (EBSCO) - Offers full-text articles from journals and magazines with a wide range of topics. May limit to full-text search within a date range.

Dissertations & Theses (Proquest) - Collection of scholarly research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, covering more than 1 million dissertations and theses. Coverage: 1637-present.

GenderWatch - Provides access to publications that focus on the impact of gender across a broad spectrum of subject areas, 1970-present.

International Index to Music Periodicals - Covers nearly all aspects of the world of music; draws current content from more than 370 international music periodicals from over 20 countries with over 60 full text titles. Coverage: 1874-present; full text: 1996-present.

Music Index (EBSCO) - Comprehensive subject-author guide to music periodical literature. Contains book reviews, obituaries, and news and articles about music, musicians and the music industry. 1952-present.

Proquest Newspapers - Offers full-text access to over 600 US and international newspapers, hundreds of other news wires and news sources; dates vary. May select specific newspapers to search, within a date range.

Internet and Evaluation

You will want to evaluate carefully all Internet resources you use to support your argument. The Oviatt Library provides information within its Research Strategies pages to assist in effective evaluation.

You can access Google Scholar here to search for academic articles. Adding CSU Northridge to the Library Link section in Scholar Preferences will link you to many full-text articles at no fee.

Citation and Evaluation Guides

Reference Services and Library Hours

Ask A Librarian - get your questions answered here 24/7 or contact me at coleen.martin@csun.edu

Library and Reference Desk hours