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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

Taylor ENL 160 Reading Broadly

Library Research Guide Spring 2021

Search Example: "A White Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett

  • Looking at what critics have said about "A White Heron" helps me sort out my own arguments.

Search: Academic Search Complete database

Beginning at the Berry Library home page (www.salemstate.edu/library), I find and click on the link Alphabetical List of Databases:
 

  • I find "Academic Search Complete" in the list of databases that appears. 
  • As I begin keying in "A White Heron," the database suggests better search terms.
    • I click them:
  • These are some of the search results:

 

Looking at Citations to Evaluate My Search Terms

  • Reading the titles of the citations of articles in my result list tell me:
    • If my search terms worked:
      • Are the articles related to my work?
      • If not, I must change my search terms
    • What are possible ways to look at my work?
      • Though I had some ideas from reading "A White Heron," I get more ideas from seeing what critics have written
  • Looking at the "Subjects" field in the citations shows me more about each citations
    • They show the context for the article
    • They show other terms to try if I like an article
  • The presence of a PDF or HTML icon shows me that I can read an article right away.

Using Limits to Refine Search Results

  • Limits on the left side of my search screen make me think about various aspects of my search results;
    • The dates of articles
      • My articles date from 1978 to 2017. I am fine with this. 
      • However, if I had tons of results, I could use the date range to limit to article published in the past 10 years or so.
    • Sources of articles
      • Six of my articles are from journals, two are book reviews. This is fine. 
        • I can identify a book on Sarah Orne Jewett by looking at the book reviews.
      • However, if I had a different topic and had many results from all types of publications, I could narrow results by limiting to scholarly articles. 
    • Whether I have access to the full-text of the articles
      • Citations with icons for PDF or HTML means that the full-text of an article is readily available for me to read - simply by clicking on this icon.
      • If I do not see either symbol, I have the option of requesting the article from another library via the Interlibrary Loan Service. 
        • Clicking "Request This Item Through Interlibrary Loan" opens a form for me to complete.
      • Again, if I had tons of results, I could narrow the list by limiting to articles that were present in the full-text.

Using Tools to Print, Save, Export, and Cite