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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

Taylor: ENL109 & ENL110 Foundations of Library Research

Guide for Professor Ann Taylor's Classes Fall 2020

Search Makeover: Revision and Writing Search

  • The Problem:
    • I am not satisfied with the results of the Academic Search Premier search for revisions and writing. 
    • Although the search was executed well, I found the results lacking.
    • Many of the citations involved teaching. 
    • I am not interested in teaching. I want to see broader articles I can apply in my own writing. 
  • Strategy A:
    • Try other key words:
      • Revision; revisions, revision in writing
    • Be persistent in scrolling through new search results to find an article you like
    • Click on the subject headings in this article to link to similar articles
  • Strategy B:
    • Try other key words:
      • Revision; revisions; revision in writing, etc.
    • Change the drop-down menu to the right of the search terms to "Abstract." This will bring up articles with these terms in the abstract.
  • Strategy C:
    • Limit your search to articles that appear in the top journals for writing, rhetoric, and composition: 
      • College English
      • College Composition and Communication
      • English Education
      • English Journal
  • Combo Strategy:
    • If, after you revised your search, you still get false hits (irrelevant citations), go nuclear - execute your search in the top composition journals listed in Strategy D. 
    • Or, change to a more specialized database like the Modern Language Association Bibliography.

Example: Search Makeover: Revising and Writing

  • New key words; field adjusted to abstract:

  • More promising citation. 
  • Examined subject headings.
  • Linked to citations with subject heading "REVISION (Writing process)"
  • Two interesting articles found by linking to the subject heading "REVISION (Writing process)":