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Where to Find Articles
Library search engines (databases) are a great place to find scholarly journal articles or other sources for your paper. Each search engine has a different flavor/subject area it covers. If the full text isn’t right there, click the Find It button. If we don’t have the article, you can request it from another library by clicking the “get this article or book chapter” link. (The turnaround time on this is usually about 2 days.)
SocINDEX This link opens in a new window
A sociology specific database, it contains just the scholarly articles about sociology and criminal justice topics.
Academic Search This link opens in a new window
A general database covering many subjects and source types. A good place to start finding both scholarly and popular sources.
ERIC This link opens in a new window
An education-specific database. If you're looking for a social issue related to children or schools, give this one a try.
PsycINFO This link opens in a new window
A psychology specific database. Social issues often overlap with topics in psychology - this is a good place to search for articles relating to mental health.
JSTOR This link opens in a new window
Another general database. This doesn't have subject headings and only searches full text. The more words you search the fewer results you'll get.
Parts of an article-image
Wait...how do I read this stuff?
Here are a few tips about reading those scholarly articles you found. Most important? Remember reading front to back is for novels and mysteries! Don't be afraid to read out of order.
Label the article parts
Start with the abstract—it should unlock the rest of the article
Read back to front.
Figure out what they found out first, then figure out how they got there
If the graphs don’t make sense, ignore them and read their explanation of the graphs instead.
Look up words you don't know
Summarize as you read--it saves time.
What's the difference between scholarly and popular again?
You've heard there's a difference between scholarly and popularly sources. Check out this sock puppet theatre video to give you an idea of the difference.
Scholarly Sources vs Popular Sources from Kimbel Library on Vimeo.
That's not all though. Don't forget to think about who wrote the articles and who they are written for. Scholarly articles are written by...wait for it...scholars. And by scholars, we mean professors, researchers, and scientists: people who are experts in their fields. So who writes popular articles? For the most part it's journalists, whose expertise is usually writing, not the content area they are writing about.
As for audience, scholarly articles are written for other experts in the field and students in those areas. This means you'll sometimes get words or specialized terms that you may not know. Don't be afraid to look them up. Popular sources are written for everyone, so you get generalized language that might be a bit less specific.
Basically, they fit these criteria:
- Articles written by professors or researchers
- Designed for students, professors, & researchers
- Articles reviewed in-depth by other researchers before publication
- The articles will also contain a bibliography at the end of the article.
How do you read a scholarly article? Prezi