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Composition I Research Guide for ENGL 101: Finding Articles

Spring 2020

Quick Note

When you find an article you like DO NOT COPY AND PASTE THE LINK AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE (IN THE WEB BROWSER). The links are not stable and you will not find the article again. 

  • Find a permalink if possible and email it to yourself. Write down the titles, author, etc. or take a picture with your phone. 

Finding the Full Text (Complete) Articles

Follow these steps to obtain the complete article, or full text, while searching:

  • Look for a PDF Full Text or PDF link.

  • No PDF Full Text or PDF link? Look for another full text link, such as Linked Full Text, Full Text Finder, or HTML Full Text. 

  • Full text link does not give you the entire article? Ask a Librarian!

Search Strategies

Boolean logic - use AND, OR, NOT (sometimes AND NOT) to connect two or more search terms:

  • AND finds all records with all of your search terms and narrows your search
  • OR finds all records with one or more of your search terms and broadens your search
  • NOT or AND NOT is used to exclude the following term and can help to focus a search where one term has different meanings or uses (e.g., Mexico NOT "New Mexico")

Truncation - the library catalog and most databases use special characters to make searching easier in certain situations. Check the help screens in the catalog or database you are using to see what the special characters are for that resource.

  • the asterisk * is often used to stand for mutliple endings on a word (singular, plural, etc.): vot*finds vote, voter, voters
  • wildcards are similar, but replace another character in a word: wom?n in the library catalog finds both woman and women


Most of your research for this paper will come from articles, since they will be most current. Remember to check article dates! Generally, newer articles or articles that a few years old will be better (no more than 5-7 years). However, ask your professor if you have questions.

The databases below are starting points for your research.


  • Keeping it simple is best. Don't overload the search boxes. For example, if your topic was kneeling during the national anthem, try kneeling AND national anthem(Combine terms using the connector 'AND')
  • Remember to select Full Text to limit to articles available online. Use the limiters in the left-hand or right hand column of the results page, such as Publication Date and Publication Type.
  • Do not copy and paste the link in your web browser. The links are not stable and you will not find the article again.
    • Write down the titles, author, etc. or take a picture with your phone. Better yet, consider printing, e-mailing, or saving the article to a flash drive.