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English 098 Library Research Skills

This guide has been archived and may have outdated information or broken links.

Finding Newspaper and Magazine Articles

The following databases and sources contain many full-text articles from newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals from around the country, and the world.

Start at the library's home page, http://library.csun.edu, and click "Find Articles by Subject" Then click "General/Multi-subject" or "News & Current Issues" to access the databases above.

Evaluating Search Results

Once you find an article, it is important to critically evaluate it to see if you can use it for your research purposes. Listed below are things to think about when trying to determine the value of a particular article:

  • Skim the list of article citations: Do your keywords appear in any of them?
  • Read article abstracts (or summaries): How well does each article pertain to your topic?
  • What kind of information does each citation/abstract/article appear to provide about your topic? Is it a research findings report, critical analysis, editorial or commentary, news report, or investigative report?
  • Consider the currency of each citation--when was the article published? This will be more or less important, depending on your topic.


Evaluating Web Sites (should you believe everything you read online?)

What to look for (for a more detailed version go to: http://library.csun.edu/Guides/ResearchStrategies/EvaluatingLibraryResources)

  • Authority - Who is the author?  What's his/her background, education, experience?  Would you trust the organizations they are affiliated with?  Can you find contact information?
  • Content & Coverage - What does it cover?  Is it aimed at experts?  Is the information relevant?
  • Timeliness - When was it written?  When was it last updated?  Is the information still current?
  • Accuracy - Can you check the information somewhere else?  (Especially important for things like Wikipedia!)  Has someone else reviewed the content?  Does it include a list of works cited or other clues to how the information was found?
  • Objectivity - Does the site have a bias?  Are there advertisements or links to organizations that might be a clue? 


Accessing Library Resources from Off Campus

As a CSUN student you can access most databases from off campus, anywhere around the world. You just need to make sure you have your PORTAL username and password. When you click on a database from off campus, you'll see the following screen. When you've entered the ID and password information, you'll be redirected to the database


Contact InformationSample Log In Screen

Susanna Eng-Ziskin - susanna.eng@csun.edu

See my webpage to chat with me through Meebo: http://library.csun.edu/smeng.

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