COMS 321: Rhetorical Discourse: Find Articles

Overview

  • Periodicals (magazines, newspapers, trade publications, and scholarly journals) are excellent sources of current and/or specific information for research projects. Often, they are considered primary sources for research.
  • Library databases enable you to search keywords to locate relevant articles.
  • For a complete list of available databases, see Databases by Subject or Databases A-Z.
  • In addition to searching the databases below, if you know the name of a periodical and want to see if the Oviatt Library has access to it, search the Library Catalog by Journal Title.

Good Databases to Start in:

OneSearch 

Search box on the Library home page is used to search across most of the Library’s article databases and the Library catalog for books and media. Good for general topics requiring different resources and/or to get started. Watch our video tutorial or read the FAQ to learn more about OneSearch.

Note: multiple keywords  are searched as if the Boolean "and" was implied between the keywords, unless quotation marks are placed around exact phrases. Synonyms or related terms can be entered with OR in between them to broaden search results (enter "OR" in ALL CAPS). Put searches containing OR in between keywords within parentheses. 

Examples:

police brutality race [this is the same as entering police AND brutality AND race]

("police brutality" OR "officer involved shooting")  race [capitalize the Boolean operator "OR"; quotation marks around exact phrases; additional keywords will be searched as Boolean "AND"]

Gale Power Search

Locate articles in magazines, academic and scholarly/peer-reviewed journals, and news sources. Also includes reference books, Web sites, and multimedia resources.  "Viewpoint essays" on controversial issues (pro/con arguments), which are good for persuasive speeches, are also included in the "books" results. Watch this video to learn how to use Gale Power Search.

ProQuest Newspapers

Full text for 500+ U.S. and international news sources. Includes coverage of 150+ major U.S. newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune, plus hundreds of other news sources and news wires. Click the More Search Options link from the main search screen to reveal choices for limiting by Document Type, such as editorial, speech, and review.

Opposing Viewpoints In Context (Gale) 

Features "viewpoint articles" (pro/con arguments), topic overviews, full-text magazine, academic journal, and newspaper articles; primary source documents, statistics, images and podcasts, and links to web sites.

Specialized Databases:

Communication and Mass Media Complete (EBSCOhost)

Indexes and abstracts over 600 journals and trade publications; includes full text for over 240 journals. CMMC incorporates the content of CommSearch (formerly produced by the National Communication Association) and Mass Media Articles Index (formerly produced by Penn State). Subjects covered include communication studies, journalism, mass media, speech, linguistics, communicative disorders, deaf studies, advertising, and related areas of interest to practitioners and educators in these fields. Dates of coverage vary by journal.

LexisNexis Academic

LexisNexis Academic is a full-text database containing news, legal, biographical, and business information from over 12,000 U.S. and international publications. Enter terms in the main search box to retrieve news, cases, law reviews, and company information relevant to your search. Results can be sorted by date or relevance, and narrowed down by type of source (newspapers, company, legal, subject, geography, etc.) Click on Search the News to directly search newspapers and other sources of news. (Search the News does not allow the use of Boolean (AND, OR, NOT) operators and truncation and searches large groups of the most popular news sources, such as newspapers, broadcast transcripts, and wire services.) Click Search by Content Type and then Advanced Options to search with Boolean operators and truncation and to locate more specific types of news sources. NOTE: Due to publisher restrictions, LexisNexis Academic users may only access the latest 6 months of the Los Angeles Times. Use Proquest Newspapers for complete coverage of the Los Angeles Times online.

Ethnic NewsWatch (ProQuest)

Full text articles from more than 270 ethnic, minority and native press publications, including newspapers, magazines and journals, 1960 to present.

GenderWatch (ProQuest)

Contains unique and diverse publications that focus on how gender impacts a broad spectrum of subject areas. With archival material dating back to 1970, GenderWatch is a repository of an important historical perspective on the evolution of both the women's movement and major changes in gender roles.

 

Access Databases from Off Campus

Only current CSUN students, faculty and staff can access our databases from off campus. To access the databases from off campus, click the name of the database. You will then see a screen asking you to log in, using your CSUN User ID and password (the same ID and password you use to log in to the portal).

For more information, see Accessing Library Resources from Off-Campus and the Library's Copyright Statement (in particular, the Appropriate Use of Oviatt Library's Electronic Resources section).

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are words (or, and, not) used to connect search terms to expand (or) or narrow (and, not) a search within a database to locate relevant information. Boolean operators are also called logical operators or connectors.

It is helpful to diagram the effects of these operators:

Or Relationship Image

women or females

Or retrieves records that contain any of the search terms. It expands the search. Therefore, use "or" in between terms that have the same meaning (synonyms) or equal value to the search.

And Relationship Image

women and media

And retrieves records that contain all of the search terms. It narrows or limits the search. Therefore, use "and" in between terms that are required to make the search specific.

Not Relationship Image

image not weight

Not eliminates records that contain a search term. It narrows or limits the search. Therefore, use "not" in front of a term to ensure that the search will not include that term. Warning: Some databases use "and not" instead of "not." Check the database help screen.

Check for Full Text Using Find Text

If the article isn't available full text in the database you are searching, click the Find Text button to see if we have access to the full text through another database or in print. A new page opens that will have one or more of the following links:

  • Full text available via [database name]: Click to access the full-text online. If the link takes you to a publication-level page, you can navigate to the article by first choosing the correct year, then the correct month or volume number, then the issue, and then selecting the article from the displayed table of contents.
  • We have this. Check availability in CSU Northridge Catalog: We have the article in print. Click to view the catalog record for the journal or magazine. You'll need to note the call number and then go to the fourth floor to get the article.
  • Request document via Interlibrary Loan: We do not have the article online or in print. You can request the article via interlibrary loan (takes approximately ten working days).

For more information, see About Find Text.

Developing a Search Strategy

  1. Once you have chosen a topic, write it down in the form of a question or brief statement:
    What is the relationship between SAT scores and college success?
  2. Underline the key words and phrases that are most specific to your topic.
    What is the relationship between SAT scores and college success?
  3. Write down each key word or phrase, and underneath it, list synonyms or related terms.
    Use a dictionary or thesaurus to find additional keywords. For example:

    SAT

    • scholastic aptitude test

    college

    • university

    success

    • achievement
  4. Think about the singular, plural, and other endings of words and write down the root of the word.
    • SAT
    • scholastic aptitude test
    • college, colleges -- college
    • university, universities -- universit
    • success, successful, succeed -- succe
    • achievement, achieve, achiever -- achieve
  5. Write down your key words and phrases along with their synonyms in the form of a Boolean search statement. Use the root word, and truncate it with an asterisk (*). Note: Different databases use different truncation or wildcard symbols. Check the database's help page. For example:

    (SAT or scholastic aptitude test) and (college* or universit*) and (sucee* or achieve*)

Truncation

  • Most databases allow for a symbol to be used at the end of a word to retrieve variant endings of that word. This is known as truncation.
  • Using truncation will broaden your search. For example,

    bank* will retrieve: bank or banks or banking or banker or bankruptcy, etc.

  • Databases and Internet search engines use different symbols to truncate. In general, most of the Library's databases use the asterisk (*) ; however, the exclamation point (!) is used in LexisNexis. Check the database help screen to find the correct truncation symbol.
  • Be careful using truncation. Truncating after too few letters will retrieve terms that are not relevant. For example:

    cat* will also retrieve cataclysm, catacomb, catalepsy, catalog, etc.

    It's best to use the boolean operator "or" in these instances (cat or cats).