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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

Taylor ENL 225H Advanced Writing for Honors

Spring 2021

Search Tips

  • The following databases are interdisciplinary in scope. 
  • Some cover journals in your field better than others. 
    • English majors, for instance, will find much material in JSTOR. Psychology, Nursing, and Criminal Justice students might find ScienceDirect and Academic Search Complete more helpful.
  • To improve the precision of your searches in these all-encompassing databases, look for tools that let you focus on your particular discipline.
    • All three of these databases support limiting by subject/discipline.
  • Suggestion: Search for articles on your topic in these databases, but don't obsesss over finding the perfect article.
    • The specialized subject databases in the next section of this libguide are better suited for this.

Academic Search Complete

JSTOR

ScienceDirect

Academic Search Complete "Nature vs. Nurture" Search Example

  • My Google search for controversial topics in psychology led me to the web site "Debates and Issues in Psychology." 
  • Among the issues debated in psychology were: 
    • mind/body
    • nature vs. nuture
    • reductionism vs. holism
    • idiographic vs. nomothetic
    • free will vs. determinism
  • I chose "nature versus nature."
  • When I began keying in my terms in Academic Search Complete, I was given helpful ways to modify my search:

ScienceDirect Search Example for "Nature vs. Nurture" in Psychology

  • The keywords nature v. nurture worked in ScienceDirect, but my search was much improved by limiting results to psychology journals in the left frame:

JSTOR Search Example for "Nature vs. Nurture" in Psychology

  • "Nature versus Nurture" worked in JSTOR as well, but was improved by adjusting the publication dates to articles published in the past 10 years and by limiting the search to psychology journals: