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ENGL B1A: Contemporary Issues: Finding Articles

For Cara Warwick's & Justin Bell's ENGL B1A

Helpful Databases

Databases are searchable collections of reliable, vetted resources, like magazines, academic journals, newspapers, and encyclopedias. We pay for access to these resources through subscriptions--like Netflix, but for articles!

  • Vetted= already evaluated or fact-checked

The databases listed below are the best databases for your class.

Helpful Videos

Searching Databases

Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles


Selecting Search Terms/Keywords

Once you've successfully created a narrow research question, you'll probably want to go ahead and start finding information about your question! However, it's not a good idea to type your entire research question into the search bar of a database like EBSCOhost or our library catalog. If you do this, changes are that the database or catalog will tell you there are 0 books or articles on your topic. This is not because the library does not have books or articles on the ethics of producing genetically modified organisms, but because the search engine you're using is not smart enough to understand what you're typing in.

Instead, you need to break your research question down into search terms/keywords that describe your topic. Search terms are short (1-4 words) phrases that describe the main concepts of your topic. A good way to choose search terms for your topic is to look at your research question and decide what the most important words are in that sentence. A good research question will have 2-4 search terms that describe it.

It's also smart to have a few back-ups in mind for each search term. Sometimes the database will only give you a couple of results when you put in one word, but if you think of a synonym for that search term, you will get many more results. 

Still unsure? Watch the video below for more information:

Helpful Links

Combining Search Terms with Boolean Operators


What Does Scholarly/Peer Review Mean?