Finding Sources: Articles

The Research Process

Finding Articles

We are spending quite a few days on step 3: finding sources since good source material really is at the heart of the effective research paper. Today, we’ll look at finding articles. (Once again, if you are not familiar with the John  E. Mayfield library, this would be a good time to go through the online orientation.)

When pressed, some students admit that they prefer books when doing the research paper because the whole database thing just makes them confused. They don’t know how to navigate all those weird-sounding terms, like EBSCO and Wilson Web. But don’t fear. It’s not as strange as it seems, and the databases are structured to help you at every turn.

Plus, articles are a very important part of the research process. Articles tend to be more timely than books. Articles deal with more specific issues. And it is through journal articles that much academic discussion takes place.

Many professors prefer that article sources come from scholarly journals.  I linked to a tutorial in an earlier post, but for those of you just joining in, here it is again.

 Now let’s look at the John E. Mayfield Library databases. First, don’t worry about the names.  The categories are much more important here. The general topic ones are just that. They cover a multitude of subjects and are often the best place to start. Which one?

A lot depends on personal opinion. Some people used TEL when they were in high school, so they like to start with that one. I like EBSCO, because its result list provides summaries, which can be very helpful.

For some other topics, here are some guidelines:

Controversial Topics

·         SIRS

·         Facts on File

·         Points of View Reference Center


·         Literature Resource Center

·         JSTOR

·         AcademicSearchPremier in EBSCOHost

·         Academic OneFile in TEL

·         Omnifile Full Text in Wilson Web



·         Omnifile Full Text in Wilson Web

·         JSTOR

·         AcademicSearchPremier in EBSCOHost

·         Academic OneFile in TEL

·         The New York Times (articles  back to 1851)

·         Chicago Tribune Historical Archive (articles back to the 1860s)

·         Facts on File: Choose Issues and Controversies in American History


If you ever have trouble finding an article, stop by the reference desk for help or email the library.


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