Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

We are still offering consultation services during the COVID-19 move to online instruction. Please feel free to reach out for virtual appointments! For more information on library services and resources, please click here.

Advanced Writing in the Disciplines (AWD) : Academic Research

A guide to online and print resources for Advanced Writing in the Disciplines

Choosing a database

Using a database that fits your topic will help improve the quality of your research.

Use the Research Guides by subject, or choose your AWD course from the "Find Your Course" menu to get some suggestions on databases for your topic. If you would like additional help in selecting a database, please contact us!

Scholarly vs Popular

(Text version of Prezi)
What are the differences between scholarly, trade and popular periodicals?

Scholar OneSearch --> Library Catalogs

Don't need an article? Search for books and other materials with the Library Catalogs dropdown option in Scholar OneSearch.

Scholar OneSearch

(catalog-only version)


Starting Your Search

(Abridged text version of Prezi.)

In order to search a database, you first need to know what you want to search for! Here are some a few ways that can help you focus your search. Write a sentence or two that describes your topic.

  • Pick out two or three key terms from your written topic.
  • Enter one or more of those terms into an article database that covers your topic.
  • Look at your results list.
  • Choose an article that interests you, and click on the title.
  • Skim the abstract and keywords/subject headings for additional ideas for search terms.
  • Repeat with a new search, if needed.
  • Ask a librarian for help!

Refining your search

If you've started your search and want better results, use our Top 10 Search Tips to help you refine your search.

Academic Research

Academic research requires skills beyond those needed for everyday searching. To conduct research for academic purposes, you will need to:

  • Choose appropriate databases.
  • Find the right types of sources for your research.
  • Use more sophisticated search techniques to get articles that are focused.
  • Evaluate and analyze the sources that you find.

Types of Periodicals Prezi

For better viewing, select the Full Screen option from the More menu. You may need to click the play button before More will show.


Additional; research tutorials are accessible on the library's Research Tutorial Guide.

Starting Your Search

For better viewing, select the Full Screen option from the More menu below. You may need to click the play button before More will show.