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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Geography 104

Assistance for GEOG 104 mapping assignment, Fall 2019

Why Use Articles?

Articles are a valuable resource in any research paper or project. Articles (as opposed to books) generally have the following characteristics:

  • Shorter length
  • Information is more current
  • Focus on a specific aspect of a topic 

Where to Find Articles

1. The Find Articles Guide provides a list of databases to search, organized by subject. This page contains the following resources:

  • Starting Points - Multi-subject databases that contain information on many subjects. These databases can be the best places to start your research.
  • Newspapers - A selection of major newspapers and newspaper collections.
  • Subject Databases - Listed alphabetically by subject area, these databases include subject-specific resources. These are great for finding articles with a specific focus.

2. Get Started with a Multi-Subject Database

Academic Search Ultimate is a good starting point for most topics. To search this database:

  1. Access Academic Search Ultimate. If you are off-campus, you will be asked to enter your NetID and password.
  2. Enter keywords from your Dissect Your Research Question handout in the search boxes on the page.
  3. Click Search.

3. Focus Your Research with a Subject-Specific Database

Use the Find Articles Guide to find databases to search by subject. 

  1. Use your Dissect Your Research Question handout to determine which subject areas would be most likely to have scholars publishing articles on your topic.
  2. Select one or more subject-specific databases to search. If you are off-campus, you will be asked to enter your NetID and password.
  3. Enter keywords from your Dissect Your Research Question handout in the search boxes and click Search.

How to Use Academic Search Ultimate: VIDEOS

Tips for Refining Your Search

  1. Look closely at the first two pages of your results.
  2. Click on the article title to find more information about an article.
  3. When you find a good article:
    • Read the Abstract to learn what the article is about.
    • Look closely at the Subject Terms. Add these to your Dissect Your Research Question handout and use them in a new search as needed.
  4. To  improve your search:
    • If you have too few results, use fewer keywords, or try an alternative keyword from your Dissect Your Research Question handout.
    • If you have too many results, add another keyword, or try an alternative from your Dissect Your Research Question handout.

Open Articles Off-Campus

In order to open the permanent links you identify above from off-campus locations you need to add a Proxy Prefix to the permanent link provided by the database.

At the beginning of the pernanent link URL add the following:

http://www.library.illinois.edu/proxy/go.php?url= 

To see examples of this, visit the Database Linking page.