English 1000 series

Search Strategy:

Remember to ASK US if you need help.

Click "chat," "email," or "phone" in the "Ask us" section of the library home page.  Chat is 24/7!

To access the "subject guides," use the tab in the center of the home page, select your subject, and click "Go."

Principles of searching
  • gather the information you need/want
  • keep away the information or "noise" you don't want


Find and Evaluate

Questions to help you evaluate: Evaluating Print & Other Resources or Evaluating Web Resources

How do you distinguish between fact and opinion? Primary and secondary sources? See Information Types

Key Areas on the Library Home Page

  • Library catalog is a database of materials available through the University Libraries - books, media, some journal titles - that you can access on campus or home.
  • Databases A-Z lists our subscription databases that you can access from campus or home. From home, you will need to enter your net ID and password.
  • Subject Guides - also takes you to the subject guide for the discipline
  • Cite Your Sources - gives you places to go to learn about citation

In addition to Citation tutorials (see below under Citation), there are other tutorials about forming research questions, topic development, and other topics.  Click on the "Tutorials" link in the left navigation bar.

Overview: Try reference sources

  • library catalog
  • databases like Britannica Online, CQ Researcher, or Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center
  • subject encyclopedias in politics, medicine, etc.
NOTE: about Wikipedia: as anyone can change wikipedia, this is NOT authoritative, no matter how useful it is. You need to verify the information you find there in another source.
The Catalog
If you don't have a specific title, you can start with a Word Search. We can
  • enter terms
  • "limit" the search by various options
NOTE: for e-books, you can click the connect phrase. At home, you may need to download a plug-in to access them.

For print books, you can look on the shelves. To do that, you need three elements:
  • the collection it's in (book stacks, reference, etc.)
  • the call number
    • read it "line by line" within the line before
    • the period is a decimal point, so that .S45 falls between .S4 and .S5
  • the status (on the shelf, DUE date, etc.)
If the book is not in the catalog or not "on the shelf," you can "repeat search in LINK+" and see if one of our partner libraries has the book.


General database examples: Academic Search Premier, ProQuest Newspapers
Subject database examples: ERIC (Education), America: History and Life, Web of Science, Sociology Abstracts, Sport Discus

Use the "Subject Guides" to find the databases to use. Base it on your topic, not your class.
If you are in an English class, but writing about the Civil War, you would use a history database.

Some databases have full text, some have some full text, some have no full text.
Use SFX or Find text to see if the full text for something you want is in another database.

Click on the title to read an abstract or summary of what's in an article.

The Web

Find information through a search engine like Google, iGoogle, Google Books, Google Scholar, and other Google search engines or Yahoo! Search or Ask.com or Dogpile, which searches a number of search engines at once.

Like wikipedia, things can change in an instant and many sites are not reliable, so evaluate and verify information in another source.

Government documents

A useful site is http://www.usa.gov. This allows you to search for various types of federal documents.
For the state of California, see http://www.ca.gov/ 


Click on "Cite Your Sources" on the right side of the library home page
View the tutorials on citation (see the left navigation bar under tutorials)
For books, search your book in http://www.worldcat.org, click on the title link in the results page and use "cite/export" to find your citation.  Be sure you have the right edition.

Don't forget to use the Ask Us feature on the library home page

My contact information:
Aline Soules
copyright Aline Soules 2010
under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States