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BOS 101: Text and Context: Articles on Your Topic

Library Search

Want to discover everything that the library has on your topic? Try searching for your topic in Library Search, which simultaneously searches across most of the library's resources.

Search for Articles on Your Topic in These Databases

The links below will take you to general databases where you can search for both popular and peer-reviewed articles on your topic.

Scholarly vs. Popular Publications

Scholarly Journals are periodicals written for an audience of scholars and researchers in a particular field.  This type of journal usually contains peer-reviewed articles.  Below are examples of what scholarly and peer-reviewed journals look like.

Ethnicity and Race in a Changing World     Journal of Gender Studies     Race & Class

Popular Magazines are not recommended for scholarly research.  They are usually written by staff writers for a general audience.  Below are examples of what popular magazines look like.

      

Developing Search Terms

The first step in picking a topic is to brainstorm by asking yourself a few questions.  What do you already know about this topic from your course readings?  Are there similar ideas that you might want to explore?  What are the key concepts that you're interested in pursuing?

Once you've spent a bit of time answering these questions, you can take the concepts you've identified and use the keywords and phrases to start searching for information.  Keep in mind that you'll need to build a base of knowledge before you can write effectively.

Database Search Techniques

Databases respond best to keyword searching.  To search efficiently, turn your research question into a keyword search:

Research Question:  Would increasing the minimum wage alleviate poverty?

Search One: (Search with keywords connected by “and”):
minimum wage and increase and poverty

Search Two: (Truncate some of the keywords using *):
minimum wage
* and increas* and poverty

Truncate keywords where applicable.  Truncation uses the asterisk (*) to end a word at its core, allowing you to retrieve many more documents containing variations of the search term.  Truncation can also be used to find the singular and plural forms of a term.  Example: teen* will find teen and teens.