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ENGL 1A (Lerma)

Gathering Background Information

CQ Researcher and Facts on File are just two of the databases to gather background knowledge on your topic.  You will find them under the "Issues" category when you go to the Library link to the left (Canvas nav bar) . Here are two videos that will help you get started.


CQ Researcher

Facts on File


After gathering background knowledge from CQ or FOF above, go to the Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) to search for articles. It is the first database listed on the Library link to the left. Here's a video that specifically reviews how to search the Academic Search Complete database.


Academic Search Complete: Basic Search

Popular v. Scholarly Articles

For your research assignment, you will need to gather both scholarly articles and popular magazine articles. Scholarly articles are also called "academic journal articles" or "peer-reviewed articles". These names are all synonyms of one another.

Popular magazines are also called periodicals because they are published on a weekly or monthly basis whereas most scholarly journal articles are published quarterly or annually.

Scholarly Journals and Popular Magazines (Periodicals)
Criteria Scholarly Journal Popular Magazine
Sample Cover cover of scholarly journal cover of Time magazine

In-depth, primary account of original findings with the goal of scholarly communication.

Secondary discussion of someone else's research; general information; personal narratives; to entertain or inform.
Audience Scholars, researchers, students General public, non-specialists
Author Author has subject expertise (usually a PhD) in the field of research. Credentials are usually provided. Author is frequently a journalist paid by the publication to write the article. May or not be a subject expert.
References (Works Cited) With the exception of editorials, all articles have a references list at the end of the article. Very rare. There may be links to other resources for further reading.
Language High level of disciplinary jargon. Vocabulary for the general reader. Easy enough for someone with an interest in the topic to understand
Graphics Graphs, charts and tables. Few photographs. Glossy advertising, photographs and graphs and charts to show easily understandable data.
Review Evaluated by peer-reviewers or experts in the field. Edited for content, format and style. Evaluated by editorial staff, not experts in the field. Edited for format and style.