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COM 101: Prof. O'Connell's class (ONLINE ONLY): Choosing Articles

Using Databases

A Database is a collection of articles, book chapters and other information from reliable sources. The library subscribes to many excellent databases you can search to locate articles for your library project.

Select one of the databases listed below to locate a journal article. All of the resources in these databases come from reliable publications.  Although they are delivered through the Internet, they are not considered "Internet Sources" by your professors. 

 All articles may be printed, emailed or saved on a flash drive.  Most of the databases also provide "My Folder" options that allow you to save your articles for future use.  Check it out!!

How to search and Limit Results

To help narrow your search do an Advanced Search. Click on Advanced Search. Enter your keywords using the AND connector. The database will look for articles that contain both of your key words.

Here is an example from Academic Search Complete:

Your results will include articles from magazines, newspapers and journals. To limit your results, use the limit box on the left of the screen. Check articles for instance and then click update.  The remaining results will be journal articles.

Select an article that best addresses your research question.

Which Article is Best?


Once you have done your search, select the best articles.
Is the article...

  1. Too general? (It must specifically address your topic!)
  2. Too short? (It should be at least 2 pages or 500 words.)
  3. Informative? (It must contain information that helps you answer your research question.)
  4. Recent? (When using articles that contain research, it is a good idea to choose newer articles. An article published within the last 5-7 years is preferable.)
  5. Well-documented? (Crime stories or opinions are not good. Articles always have a bibliography or works cited section.)