Find an Article Worksheet

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					                            Find an Article: Worksheet

Instructions: Please complete this worksheet using the accompanying resource list and
instruction sheet to guide you through the process.

1.     Write down your topic and underline the key concepts.




2.     Write your key concepts at the top of each column. Then, brainstorm search terms
       in the table below. Think of broader, narrower and related terms.

                     Concept 1                                 Concept 2




3.     Choose two library databases. List each database you chose, what it contains
       (including date ranges) and why you chose it.

       Database 1:




       Database 2:




4.     Using one of the databases you selected, search for articles on your topic.

       A. Which database did you search?




       B. Write down your search.
     C. How many results did you get?



     D. Revise your search. How did you revise your search? How did that change your
        search results?




5.   Find a useful article from your search results to use for your debate.

     A. Write down the citation.




     B. Find the full text of the article. How did you find it?




     C. What can you tell about the author?




     D. Is this article scholarly or non-scholarly? Is it fact or opinion?




     E. Write a paragraph explaining why you chose this article.
                   Find Articles: Resource List/Instruction Sheet

Step 1: Brainstorm Keywords
The best place to start your search for articles on a topic is in a library database, which
contains citations* to numerous articles which you can search by title, author, keyword,
etc. Some databases also contain the full text of the article.

*Citations are references to articles, books or other material. Citations for articles often include the
author, title, journal or magazine name, volume, issue, date and page numbers. You need citations
for your Works Cited list and to find the article in the library, whether it is online or in print. See
“Step 5” for help identifying elements of a citation.

Library databases work differently than Google – so you’ll need to search them in a
different way. You first need to break your topic down into concepts and brainstorm
alternate keywords (search terms). Make sure your search terms include broader, narrower
and related terms, as well as different aspects of the topic.

Example:
Topic: When Troy was excavated in the 19th century, the archeologist Heinrich Schliemann
removed the gold (which he named Priam’s Treasure) to Germany, where it went missing
after WWII. It has since been found in a Russian Museum but they refuse to return it to
Germany.

                 Concept 1                                               Concept 2
Gold of Troy                                         controversy
Treasure of Priam/Priams treasure                    ownership
Trojan artifacts                                     Germany
Heinrich Schliemann                                  Russia

Step 2: Choose a Library Database
Some databases are multi-disciplinary and contain popular and scholarly articles from
across disciplines. Others only cover material from a specific discipline or subject, such
as art or architecture. You can find a list of all databases at www.lib.utexas.edu/indexes,
arranged alphabetically and by subject. To find out what a database contains, click on the
About link next to the database name.

When choosing a database, consider whether you want scholarly or non-scholarly articles.
Articles in scholarly, peer-reviewed sources are written by scholars and researchers for an
audience of their peers – other scholars and researchers in their field of study. Before an
article appears in a scholarly publication, an editorial board made up of other scholars and
researchers usually reviews it. This is the peer-review process. Articles in non-scholarly
sources (such as newspapers and magazines) are written for the general reader.

Recommended Databases:
    Academic Search Complete, 1990-present: This multidisciplinary database
     includes articles from journals, magazines and newspapers on numerous topics.
       LexisNexis Academic: This database includes newspaper articles from
        international, national and local papers. Try starting your search within “Major US
        and World Publications” and be sure to change your date range to longer than the
        previous 3 months.
       Art Abstracts/Art Index Retrospective, 1929-present: Find articles from journals,
        yearbooks and museum bulletins in the disciplines of art and art history, archeology
        and architecture.

Step 3: Construct a Search
When searching in a database, you want to connect your keywords using AND and OR.
          o AND tells the database to find items with all of the words
          o OR tells the database to find items with any of the words

Example:
Gold of Troy OR Priams treasure AND controversy OR ownership

This is how a search looks in the database Academic Search Complete.




Step 4: Find the full text.
Sometimes the full text of the article is in the database. If it is not, you have two options to
find it.

Follow the                link to see if it is available in another database or in print in the
library.
OR
Search for the title of the journal (not the title of the article) in the Library Catalog
(under Research Tools on the Library web site) or the Find a Journal page (under Research
Tools on the Library web site) to see if it is available electronically or in print.

Step 5: Cite the Article

				
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posted:11/27/2008
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