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ENG1100 College Writing - Spring 2016, Prof. Levine: Finding Articles Using Library Databases

Locating Background Information

Congressional Quarterly-CQ Researcher

CQ Press Library - the place to search or browse resources on American government, current affairs, history, politics, public policy, and data analysis for the social sciences.

Credo Reference

The Credo Reference database is a portal to over 780 full-text reference titles from over 80 major publishers. Easy to search and browse, the Credo platform provides access to text, images, maps, statistics, and graphic concept maps to illustrate connections among and between topics.

Points of View Reference Center  

Full-text database designed to provide multiple sides of a variety of current issues

 

Search Tip: Thesaurus or Subject

Sometimes keywords that worked well in one database won’t be as effective in another.  If you find that your results are a bit scattered, try using that database’s terminology:  the Thesaurus or Subject Terms link.  Many databases have a list of designated words that are used to summarize a topic, but they may not be obvious to you.

Searching for Resources on Specific Topics

The Death Penalty and Solitary Confinement

Search Tip:  The term "capital punishment" is generally used in book catalogs and article databases to identify materials about the death penalty. The term "solitary confinement" is also used to describe this concept. But they are rarely discussed together in the same book or article, so they should be searched separately to obtain good results.

Finding Background Information on These Topics:: Use the Cheng Library catalog to find books on each subject, and use the Credo Reference Academic Core database to find full-text encyclopedia articles on each subject..

Finding Arguments FOR and AGAINST: Use the Points of View Reference Center to locate essays for and against capital punishment and solitary confinement.

Finding Statistical Information: The Bureau of Justice Statistics provides data and statistical reports on both capital punishment and solitary confinement on its web site.

Finding Journalism: The ProQuest NewsStand database and the "News" section of the Nexis Uni database contain full-text newspaper articles on these topics.


The Syrian Refugee Crisis

Search Tip:  The Syrian refugee crisis has emerged as a consequence of the Syrian Civil War which began in the early Spring of 2011. Much of the information available about the subject has been published in the form of journalism, research articles, and government documents. When searching for information, it will be helpful to use appropriate sources and to confine your search to the period from 2011 forward to obtain good results.

Finding Background Information on This Topic:: the CQ Researcher database contains some good detailed reports that provide background and content on the crisis. See especially the reports European Migration Crisis: Should the EU open its doors wider? by Sarah Glazer (July 31, 2015) and Unrest in the Arab World: Will the Arab Spring lead to more change? by Kenneth Jost (February 1, 2013). An entry on Syria published in The 2014 annual register: World events 2013 also provides useful background information.

Finding Published Research and Policy Analyses: Use the Political Science Complete database for useful research articles on Syrian refugees, and try both the Columbia International Affairs Online database and the World Politics Review database for expert policy analyses on the subject.

Finding Journalism: The ProQuest NewsStand database and the "News" section of the Nexis Uni database contain full-text newspaper articles on this topic.

Finding U.S. Government Documents: The U.S. Government Publishing Office's Federal Digital System (FDsys) database contains many government publications pertaining to the Syrian refugee crisis, including transcripts of Congressional Hearings and Reports, Statements by the President, and other materials.

Finding Statistical Information: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees provides data and statistical reports through its Statistics and Operational Data portal and its Statistical Online Population Database on its web site.


The 2016 Presidential Election

Search Tip:  The 2016 Presidential election has been extensively covered in the mass media, and the main sources of information can be found from the candidates themselves and media coverage of them.

Finding Campaign/Candidate Information: The political news site Politics1 contains up to date information on the candidates running in every party, along with links to their web sites. The Center for Responsive Politics's OpenSecrets site - which focuses on the funding sources of campaigns, also has a page dedicated to the 2016 election.

Finding Journalism: The ProQuest NewsStand database and the "News" section of the Nexis Uni database contain full-text newspaper articles on this topic.


Gun Control

Search Tip:  A highly controversial topic, gun control is extensively debated and covered in the mass media. When searching on the topic, it is always useful to know as much as possible about the sources of the information you find.

Finding Background Information on This Topic:: Use the Cheng Library catalog to find books on this subject, and use the Credo Reference Academic Core database to find full-text encyclopedia articles on this subject.

Finding Arguments FOR and AGAINST: Use the Points of View Reference Center to locate essays for and against gun control.

Finding Statistical Information: The Bureau of Justice Statistics provides data and statistical reports on firearm violence on its web site.

Finding Journalism: The ProQuest NewsStand database and the "News" section of the Nexis Uni database contain full-text newspaper articles on this topic.

Finding Published Research and Policy Analyses: Use the Political Science Complete database for useful research articles on gun control.

Locating Articles

You can access databases from the Articles & Databases Tab on the Library homepage. Since there are more than 130, we have made it easier and selected a few useful ones for this class. 

ProQuest Central is a large multidisciplinary database indexing over 14,000 publications, the majority of them available in full text. Over 160 subjects areas are covered extensively in this product including business and economics, health and medical, news and world affairs, technology, social sciences, and more.

Academic Search Complete includes more than 8500 periodicals (newspapers, magazines and journals) in all subject areas. Most articles are available full-text online.

Search Tip: Keywords

It is usually a good idea to start out broadly, so using just one or two of your topic terms is a good way to begin. Once you have a set of results, you can begin narrowing down your results by entering one or more terms. Searching in a specific field such as "Subject" or "Title" will narrow or focus your results. 

Locating News Articles

To locate news articles, try Nexis Uni or ProQuest Newsstand

 

Nexis Uni is a full-text database that provides access to full-text news, business, and legal publications, using a variety of flexible search options.

ProQuest Newsstand offers full-text news from over 1,280 sources, including domestic and foreign newspapers, wire services, magazines, trade publications, and blogs. Over 50 of the highest-circulation newspapers in the United States are included in the database, including such key titles as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.