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English 101 - Proposal Research Paper: Find Articles & More

Finding Articles

You can use the library's OneSearch catalog feature or choose one of the library's databases to find articles. When using databases, choose a database that seems suited to your particular topic. You can narrow the database list down by subject using the dropdown menu at the top. Or ask a librarian for help figuring out which databases might be best.

Just want to get started? Browse our Popular Databases list for the most frequently used databases.

You can search for articles by keywords, author, title or subjects.

Journal, Magazine, and Newspaper Databases

Try starting with these databases to search for articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers.

Ebsco Collection of Databases - Search from a wide range of research databases for magazine and journal articles. The easiest way to search for journal articles is limit your results to peer-reviewed, academic journal sources, either using in an advanced search, or in the left sidebar of your search results.

JSTOR - Includes only scholarly journal articles covering many disciplines within the Humanities and Social Sciences including: Anthropology, Archaeology, Area Studies, Art & Art History, Asian Studies, Education, Feminist & Women’s Studies,History, Language & Literature, Linguistics, Music, Performing Arts, Philosophy, Political Science, Population Studies, Psychology, Sociology, and Religion.

Database Searching

Database Search Tips

Once you select a database, conduct a search using the keywords you identified for your topic.

  • Use the wildcard character * to truncate the main stem of a word to find different versions: pollut* finds pollution, pollute, polluted 
  • Place quotation marks around words you want to search as a phrase: “air pollution” ; “eating disorders” ; “social media” 
  • Brainstorm for words with similar meanings: youth, adolescents, teens, teenagers, “young adults” 
  • Select full-text, scholarly, academic, or peer-reviewed options, if needed. 
  • Browse your results to see if your keywords retrieved articles that appear related to your topic.  
  • Scan the titles and subjects used in articles you like and revise your search using some of the new words you found.  
  • Look for options to narrow your results. In EBSCO databases, browse the "Refine Results" section on the left.
  • Click on titles that look promising and read the abstract or summary. 
  • When you find an article you want to use, look for tools that will allow you to e-mail, print, save, and copy the citation for the article. In EBSCO, the Tools menu is on the right, in other databases the options may be at the top of the page.

Tip! E-mail articles to yourself along with their citations so you don’t lose them. Remember to check computer-generated citations carefully to be sure they are correct!

Articles Tip

Articles are sometimes available in more than one format, such as HTML or PDF. When given the option, choose PDF, as this will be a scanned version of the original printed article and will ensure that any images, charts or graphs, and page numbers will be preserved.

What's the difference between scholarly and popular sources?

Your instructor said that you cannot use the Internet to find sources for your paper. Instead, you have to use "scholarly journals" and other academic resources from the library. So what does that mean?

Scholarly journals are published by universities, societies, or associations of specialized fields. Articles are written by scholars in that field who present the results of original research and experimentation or provide technical or professional information. They go through a peer-review evaluation process before being published. Peer-reviewed articles are reviewed by other scholars in the same field who provide feedback about the article's quality, accuracy, relevance to scholarship in the field, validity of research methodology and procedures, and more.

Ready to start searching for scholarly journal articles? You will find them in our EBSCO and JSTOR databases. Connect to those through the Popular Databases link on the library homepage.

Scholarly Journals

Scholarly journal images

  • Focused on a particular field of study
  • Based on original research or experimentation
  • Written by scholars or experts in a particular field
  • Read by professionals, students or educators in the subject area
  • Use scholarly, technical, research-oriented language
  • Include references, bibliographies or footnotes
  • Contain little or no advertising

Popular Magazines

Popular magazine images

  • General interest stories or entertainment information
  • Based on fact-finding and/or opinion
  • Written by staff writers or journalists
  • Read by the general public
  • Easy to understand language
  • Usually do not include references
  • Contain lots of colorful advertising

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

Anatomy Of A Scholarly Article

This is a simple visual representation explaining the different parts of a scholarly article, including the Works Cited page.