How to Find Articles on Your Topic

To find scholarly articles on your topic, search an academic database, such as Academic Search Complete. The steps below include tips and suggestions for finding articles on your topic.

For off campus access, when prompted, sign in with your ORU network login or Single Sign-On (SSO).

SEARCH - Steps 1 and 2

opens new windowView all databases

Step 1: Choose a database.
Use a discovery tool (EagleSearch) or a multidisciplinary database (Academic Search Complete) to start your research.

Use relevant subject-related databases.
For example, when doing research on a author, in addition to above two general databases use relevant subject databases.:

Step 2: Key in your terms and search.
Start with a simple keyword search then add terms that describe your concept(s), topic or subject. Use keywords from your thesis statement. Examples

search concepts

Depending upon the assignment, an effective search may also include some of the following descriptive terms:

search descriptive terms

EVALUATE - Steps 3, 4 and 5

What are the assignment requirements?

Step 3: Evaluate results -- sort and set limiters.

  • Sort the search result list by date for the most recent articles to appear at the top of the list. Relevance is usually the default display, which may give you more full text articles at the top of the list.
  • Set limiters; set restrictions (date, peer reviewed, language, etc.)
  • Use subject headings and subject options.

Step 4: Evaluate articles -- read, review and save.

  • Click the article title to view the detailed record.
  • Read the abstract (a summary of the article), if available, to
    1) see if the content is relevant to your topic,
    2) look for additional key terms to search, and
    3) identify ways to narrow your topic.
  • Review the article bibliography for additional relevant resource. If you identify an article of interest, go to the A-to-Z Journals List, search for the journal title, and then follow the links to go to the issue date that you need.
  • Save articles to your EBSCOhost folder for later use and creating citations.

Step 5: Evaluate your search -- tweak and improve.

  • Edit your search to include other key concepts from your thesis. To view examples, click the Sample Searches tab at the top of the page.
  • In EBSCO, click the Choose Databases link at the top and select and search other databases.

APPLY - Steps 6 and 7

Step 6: Read full text.

  • Click HTML, PDF, Linked Full text or similar link.

Note: If an article is not available in full text, the Interlibrary Loan service can get an item (for a small fee), but that is usually not necessary for the Comp-102, Comp-102H, or HONR-101 research assignment.

Step 7: Cite your sources.

  • Look for citation tools that allow you to copy, paste and then edit the citation in MLA format. Always check the print style manual for accuracy.

LIBBI Article - Check Your Knowledge

Analyze and Evaluate

Are the following articles scholarly? timely? Is the website or author authoritative? Is the article based on research, opinion, or a bias?
Can you identify three advantages of comparing information from different sources (and/or using Library databases)?