Course Library Research Guide This course library research research guide supplements the LIBBI session and provides suggested resource links, search strategies, and research tips to support the course assignments and student research needs. (All links open in a new window.)

How to Find Articles on Your Topic

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 of Single Sign-on (SSO). (Your username is your ORU email)

SEARCH - Steps 1 and 2

Step 1: Choose a database.

Select a multidisciplinary database to begin your search, then expand your search to include subject specific databases.

opens new windowAcademic Search Complete - Largest academic, multi-disciplinary collection.
(See EBSCO training videos: opens new windowBasic searching , opens new windowAdvanced searching )

opens new windowAPA PsycInfo and opens new windowAPA PsycArticles- Subject specific databases. View the opens new windowAPA Thesaurus video (YouTube 2:54 mins.)

opens new windowEagleSearch - A discovery search tool that searches multiple databases, simultaneously.

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 and include descriptive terms.

For example, What is the assignment? What type of resources or articles are needed? Depending upon the assignment, an effective search may also include some of the following descriptive terms:

  • case study
  • literature review.
  • treatment or outcome
  • quantitative study
  • qualitative study
  • focus group
  • clinical trial
  • empirical study
  • experiment
  • research study
  • report

EVALUATE - Steps 3, 4 and 5

Step 3: Evaluate results -- sort and set limiters.
What are the assignment requirements?

  • Sort 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.
Click PDF, HTML Full Text, or similar link to view the full text.

  • Read the abstract, if available, to get the main idea of the article, see if the content is relevant to your topic, and identify additional key terms and concepts to search.
  • Review the article bibliography or references 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.
  • Is the article a primary or secondary source?
  • What type of research or methodology is demonstrated, if any? (theoretical study, case study, cause and effect experiment, qualitative or quantitative study, etc.)
  • Save the article 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.
  • In EBSCO, click the Choose Databases link at the top to expand your results 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 short papers.

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.