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ENG 112: Basic Research

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Article Icon

Also known as scholarlyrefereed, peer reviewed, or academic articles.

Why use journal articles?

  • Current: include current information and have a frequent publication cycle
  • Written by Scholars - based on research and expertise
  • Focused - detailed and focused on a narrow topic
  • Peer-Reviewed - reviewed and approved by subject area experts before publication

Search for Journal Articles:

Summon searches a little bit of everything, but sometimes a more focused database is needed. Below are three examples of subject databases. Once used for finding literature criticism, one for science and technology, and one for social issues.

More Ways to Find Articles:

Books IconIn general, be sure to use books written for an academic or scholarly audience instead of those written for a popular audience.

Why use books?

  • Depth - provide in-depth analysis of a topic
  • Broad Coverage - provide broad coverage over one or more topics
  • Comprehension - can help you understand a complex topic; books are easier to read than journal articles



  • You may only need to read one chapter of a scholarly book.
  • Books contain less recent information due to the lengthy publication process.

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Videos from reputable publishers are great resources for learning more about a topic. The library provides several databases that include streaming videos, animations, and tutorials. 

Why use videos?

  • Visualize scientific concepts
  • Get first-person accounts from scientists and researchers
  • Download and search transcripts
  • Skip to video segments that are related to you topic

Search for More Videos

Statistics IconStatistics vs. Data

Statistics provide an interpretation and summary of data. Statistics can be numbers or percentages in an article, or tables, charts, or graphs.

Use statistics to:

  • answer questions that start "how many...?" or "how much...?"
  • strengthen your argument
  • provide objective information
  • put an argument into context

Data is the raw results of research. It is a primary source and can be analyzed and interpreted.

Use data sets to:

  • create new information and knowledge
  • understand a phenomenon
  • practice and learn how to use statistical procedures

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Need more?

What is literary criticism?

Literary Criticism refers to the act of interpreting and studying literature. It is the analysis of a literary text through various lenses where purpose, perspective, or other related aspects important to understanding the work itself are discussed in detail.

Find Critical Articles in Databases

In the search box, type the title of the work and the author's last name. 
Example: "The Great Gatsby" AND Fitzgerald

Learn More about Literary Criticism

Types of Resources

Scholarly (Academic) Article:

About Scholarly Articles:

Purpose: To inform, report, or make available original research or experimentation in a specific field or discipline to the rest of the scholarly world; where "new knowledge" is reported

Abstract: Articles will typically have an abstract at the beginning that summarizes the findings of the research presented in the article

Audience: Written for scholars and researchers in the field; language contains terminology and jargon of the discipline; reader is assumed to have a scholarly background

References: References or sources are listed in the form of bibliographies, reference lists, and footnotes. Look at the end of the article for the reference list or bibliography

Accountability: Articles are evaluated or reviewed by experts in the field; edited for content, format, and style

Book Review:

About Book Reviews:

You can often tell that you have a book review because it will list the citation information along with the ISBN and price at the very beginning.

Book Review: Look for ISBN and Price

Magazine Article:

About Magazine Articles:

Purpose: Entertainment and general interest; geared to sell products and services through advertising

Abstract: No abstract

Audience: Written for general, nonexpert readers; uses simple language

References: Sources are not cited. There will not be a list of references at the end

Accountability: Articles are evaluated by editorial staff who are not experts in the field; edited for format and style

Newspaper Article:

About Newspaper Articles:

Newspapers provide:
  • In-depth coverage of a particular country, state or city
  • Reporting on activities of state and local government
  • Eyewitness accounts of events
  • Editorial analysis of news and events
  • Up-to-date coverage of breaking news