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Bridge Fall 2011

Professor Bernardean Broadous

This guide has been archived and may have outdated information or broken links.

The following resources are designed to support Bridge students with finding articles and books for a college-level research paper.

Overview of the Research Process

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

1. Create a research question or statement

2. Create a list of search terms (also known as keywords) that will assist you in finding information about your question or statement

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

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 sound the same but work differently when you are searching, 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

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 users 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 to search for information for this assignment. 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, may limit to full-text search and within a date range.

America: History & Life (EBSCO) - Indexes 1,700 journals as well as dissertations on the history and culture of the United States and Canada. 1964 to present.

Black Studies Center - Combines resources for research and teaching in Black studies: Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, International Index of Black Periodicals (IIBP), The Chicago Defender Archive, ProQuest Dissertations for Black Studies, and Black Literature Index. Includes scholarly essays, recent periodicals, historical newspaper articles, and dissertations and masters theses.

Ethnic News Watch - Provides full-text articles from ethnic, minority and native press. More than 270 titles, 1960 to present.

General OneFile (Gale) - Includes Expanded Academic. Full-text articles from journals and magazines, may limit to only search full-text and within a date range.

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 and within a date range.

Depending upon your thesis statement, you may want to explore other databases in a specific discipline or subject area. You may do this at our "Find Articles by Subject" page.

Evaluating Websites

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

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