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English 305

Finding Newspaper, Magazine and Journal Articles:

The following databases and sources contain many full-text articles from newspapers, magazines and journals from around the country, and the world. If the full-text is not available for the article you want to see, click the blue and red button or the "Find Text" link to see if the full-text is available in another database.

Finding Books

Use the Library Catalog to find books, videos, music, magazines and newspapers to which we subscribe. Learn how to search the Library Catalog.

Research Strategies

It's a good idea to develop a search strategy for your research topic; a suggested guide is located on our Research Strategies Guide.

Learn how to use Boolean operators and truncation …And, Or, & Not to narrow or broaden your search

Evaluate your search results:

  • Skim the list of article citations: Do your keywords appear in any of them?
  • Read article abstracts: 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 research findings, critical analysis, editorial or commentary, investigative report?
  • Consider the currency of each citation--when was the article published?
  • Scholarly v. popular: What kind of article is it? Many research assignments require you to find articles from scholarly journals (see below).

Scholarly Sources:

  • Authors are authorities in their fields.
  • Authors cite their sources in endnotes, footnotes, or bibliographies.
  • Individual issues have little or no advertising.
  • Articles must go through a peer-review or refereed process.
  • Articles are usually reports on scholarly research.
  • Illustrations usually take the form of charts and graphs.
  • Articles use jargon of the discipline.

Popular Magazines and Newspapers:

  • Authors are magazine staff members or free lance writers.
  • Authors often mention sources, but rarely formally cite them in bibliographies.
  • Individual issues contain numerous advertisements.
  • There is no peer-review process.
  • Articles are meant to inform and entertain.
  • Language is geared to the general adult audience (no specialized jargon needed).

Evaluating Web Sites: What to look for

  • 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? What is the domain name (eg .com, .edu, .org, .gov, .net)?
  • 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? What does the domain name tell you about objectivity?

For more information see Evaluating Internet Resources.

Cite your sources! Learn how to cite in APA or MLA citation style.

Learn how to avoid Plagiarism.

If you have questions as you do research for your assignment, go to Ask-A-Librarian (http://library.csun.edu/AskUs) or email me: kgurewitz@csun.edu.