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English 1101 & 1102 - Library Research & Resource Basics: Home


This guide has been created to help English 1101 & 1102 students navigate the library and its various research and multimedia resources. If you have questions or would like to set up an appointment please contact Karen Viars or visit the Library Service Desk in the Main Library.

Before You Begin Your Research

Create a Search Strategy - Once you have a topic, but before you begin your search, spend some time thinking about the types of resources you will be looking for and the keywords you will use to find what you need. 

Popular or Scholarly Sources?  Look at the requirements for your assignment.  Is the professor okay with you using popular sources like magazines and newspapers, or must you use scholarly peer-reviewed sources only?

Distinguishing Features

  Popular  Scholarly
Periodical Title Often well-known titles, something you would find in a Barnes & Noble or Borders
Ex - Time, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, The Economist

Often will include terms such as Journal, Review, or Quarterly
Ex - Journal of the American Medical Association, Modern Language Quarterly, American Historical Review

Frequency of Publication

Newspapers often daily; magazines often weekly or monthly

Publication less frequent than popular (due in part to peer-review process) - often monthly, bimonthly (every two months), or quarterly (four times a year).

General Public

Academic Community
Article Title

Often short and to the point - fairly easy vocabulary
Ex - "Human Health Impact of Oil Spill Largely Unknown", "The Future of Human Identity"

Often longer, vocabulary more complicated/more jargon, sometimes use colons to separate title and subtitle
Ex - "The Tasman Spirit Oil Spill: Implications for Regulatory Change in Pakistan", "The Digital Currency Doppleganger: Regulatory Challenge or Harbinger of the New Economy?"
Article Author Often a journalist with a broad knowledge of many subjects. Often an expert in the field, someone with a PhD or Master's Degree. High degree of credibility.
Article Length Often short - typically less than 5 pages. Often lengthy - 5, 10, 15, 20+ pages
Advertisements Often many glossy, colored advertisements Relatively few advertisements
References Very few citations or lists of references Extensive list of references and citations throughout.
Other Often articles include photographs or color images.

Peer-reviewed - Other experts in the given field review and make suggestions for changes/clarifications before article published.

May include an abstract - a short summary of the article at the beginning of the article.


Note: With each of these features, know that there are always exceptions. When in doubt ask a librarian or your professor for help!

Humanities Librarian & Science Fiction Librarian, Liaison to the School of Literature, Media and Communication