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ENGL 105, Academic Writing (Jacky Bolding): Journal Articles

What Are Databases and Why You Need Them?

Types of Journals

Not all journals are created equal, and not all will be appropriate for every research need. These are the most common types of journals you are likely to encounter in your research, presented in order from most to least academic or scholarly:

  • Scholarly Journals: reports of original research, theoretical, experimental or applied; many are refereed/peer-reviewed
  • Trade/Professional Journals: current trends, news & events in a particular field; some are peer-reviewed
  • Journals of Commentary or Opinion: commentary on political & social issues; often source of specific political viewpoint, e.g., conservative, liberal, or specific interest group
  • Newspapers: current information, news stories; local & regional focus
  • Popular Magazines: current events & news; primary source for popular culture

Tips for Searching

  1. Start with one or two keywords describing your topic.
  2. Use the limiting options within the database to focus (i.e., refine) your results:
    • academic/peer-reviewed journals
    • date of publication (you might want more recent articles for some topics)
  3. Look for subjects (aka descriptors) that can help you define your topic more narrowly.
  4. Once you determine an angle or perspective you'd like to explore, try adding additional terms to your search.
  5. Look for a "full text" link to view the article; if no full text link is available, try "Full Text Finder" to locate a copy of the article.EBSCOhost Toolbar
    • If no copy of the article is available online or in print, you can still request a copy from another library; there is no fee for this service, and articles take about 3 days (often fewer) to arrive.
  6. Use the tools within the databases to mark, email, and print your articles:
    • You may be able to email the entire article to yourself, or at least the article information and abstract.
    • You may also be able to send yourself an MLA-formatting reference.
    • Articles in PDF format will have page numbers; articles in HTML format might not.

When Do I Use Journal Articles?

When you need current, up-to date information. Remember that journal articles in peer-reviewed journals assume that you know about the subject. If you are looking for introductory information you need to look for books.

To find all types of articles (newspaper, journal or magazine), use our research databases 

Search Selected Ebsco Databases

Research databases
Limit Your Results


This searches databases like:

Search ProQuest Databases

Research Databases: Also Try

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