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How to Write a Research Paper: Finding Articles

Need help with your research paper. Check out this LibGuide to find out how to get started.


Remember, you cannot just type your research question into a database search box and hope to retrieve articles that will answer it. You can use those keywords and phrases that you identified when you developed your research topic. Type them into the database search boxes to find articles you can use.

Boolean Operators

Use the Boolean operators AND, OR, & NOT with your keywords or phrases to create a search

  • AND narrows your search to produce fewer results
  • OR expands your search to give you more results
  • NOT excludes a concept and will narrow your search

Combine synonyms with OR to expand your search:  International students or College students.

Combine concepts with AND to narrow your search:  College students and roommates.


JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. Some of its content is now freely available on the Internet.  Click on the link below and be sure to check the box Include only content I can access to search for the full-text articles that are available for free.

What if I find a good article in EBSCO or ProQuest without full-text?

If you find the perfect article in EBSCO, but there is no full-text, don't give up. The full-text may be available in another library database or in print in the library.  

  • The first thing to do is to click on the abstract.  
  • To the left of the abstract, you will see two links. Click on the link  Full-Text Search link. If the full text of the article is available either in print in the library or in another database, this link will indicate where the full-text is located.
  • If the full-text is in print in the library, you can locate the journal and make a photocopy of the article
  • If the full-text is in a database, you can link directly to that database to find the full-text of the article that you need
  • If it turns out the full-text is not available in the library, you can return to the abstract and click on the Request through Interlibrary Loan link. Log into ILLiad and submit an ILL request for the article.
  • If you have never requested an Interlibrary Loan, you will need to set up an account by following the instructions on our ILL LibGuide .

If the perfect article is in ProQuest but there is no full-text the instructions are similar except:

  • The links you need are above the abstract
  • Click on Link to Full-Text to see if the library has access to the full-text somewhere else.
  • If there is no full-text available in the library, return to the abstract and click on the ILLiad link




Whether you need scholarly articles or articles from newspapers or popular magazines, the Lightner Library databases are the best place to start.  You can access them from the library, your dorm room, home, or anywhere you have an Internet connection.


EBSCOhost is a collection of databases that contain thousands of full text articles. It is an excellent place to begin your research.  Some of the databases that you may find helpful are:

  • Academic Search Premier  covers social sciences, education, computer sciences, engineering, medicine, social work and more.
  • Business Source Premier provides full text for nearly 8,800 journals covering business, management, economics, finance, banking, accounting and more.
  • CINAHL with full-text is the authoritative resource for nursing and allied health professions.
  • Health Source: Nursing Academic Edition is great for the nursing student as it provides access to 550 scholarly full-text journals.
  • PsycARTICLES has full-text of 46 journals published by the Americal Psychological Association and allied organizations.
  • SocINDEX with full text is a comprehensive, high quality sociology research database.

To obtain full-text articles, remember to check the Full Text Box when you do a search. This will give you results in html full text or pdf full text. If you are looking for research articles from scholarly journals, remember to check the box for Scholarly (peer reviewed) journals.

What are your options once you've found the perfect article? Take a look at the icons across the top of the results page: you can print out the article, e-mail it to yourself or save it to your computer hard drive or a flash drive.




ProQuest is another excellent multidisciplinary database. It also has a strong business component with access to the full text of many national and international newspapers, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Remember to obtain full-text articles, check the Full Text Box when you do a search and if you are looking for research articles from scholarly journals, remember to check the box for Scholarly (peer reviewed) journals.

Just as with EBSCOHost, you have the option of printing out the article, e-mailing it to yourself or saving it to your computer hard drive or flash drive.




Find a Journal Title


Use Find a Journal Title to find out if a specific journal, magazine, or newspaper is available online, in print, or on microfilm in Lightner Library.  Always search by the journal, magazine, or newspaper name and NOT by the article title.

If the article you want is online, you can click on the link for the database that has the date of the issue you want. 

If the article you want is available in print or on microfilm, you can find the article in the library to read it.  Journals, magazines, and newspapers are located throughout the library:

  • Current Periodicals:  Main Floor, Circulation Desk, Basement
  • Periodicals:  Basement
  • Current Newspapers:  Newspaper rack near main floor stairway
  • Newspapers:  Circulation Desk
  • Microfilm:  Main Floor

If you are unable to locate the print journal that you need, please see a reference librarian or ask for assistance at the Circulation Desk. 



Reference Librarian

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Linda Park
(315) 279-5208

Resources for Locating Popular Sources