FYS 102 Lambert
Below you will find information to help you complete your assignments. This page will be updated over the course of the semester, so check back later for more help. If you have any questions, or need any help with your assignment, please feel free to contact Amy Gratz, your librarian for this course, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Having trouble searching in your discipline? Try contacting the subject librarian!
Research Report: "An Academic Discourse Community"
The content of the articles you read does not matter for this assignment! The tools shown in class will allow you to browse publications within a specific discipline, and find articles that sound interesting to you. This is very different from your typical research paper, where you are searching for articles about a specific topic. Remember that this assignment is about how people in your future field of study communicate.
General tips for this assignment
- Read articles from multiple journals - different journals have different intended audiences and purposes, and some of them require specific formatting for the articles
- Try to find articles published in the last 5 to 10 years - styles and conventions change over time, and older articles might look very different
- Try to find PDF full text articles, since the way things are formatted in the original publication is important
Where to Look
JSTOR is a multidisciplinary database, which means it contains articles in a wide variety of subject areas. It does lean more towards the humanities than the sciences, but it contains only scholarly sources. Also keep in mind that JSTOR focuses on providing access to historical journals, so it does not always have articles from the last 2 to 4 years. Keep an eye out for the yellow and green symbols in your search results - if it has a yellow symbol, JSTOR doesn't have full-text access to that article, and you will need to follow the steps detailed below on finding full-text. If you see prompts asking you to pay for access, do NOT PAY - as a student, you should have free access - contact a librarian if you have any problems.
For this assignment, use the Browse by Discipline feature, located directly underneath the main search box:
Click on the discipline you're interested in, and you should see a list of titles that looks something like this:
Pay attention to the symbols on the left, and the years of coverage available. Click on a title that sounds interesting and relevant to you. On the next page, you can start browsing for articles in that journal. You can also take a look at the publication information and learn a bit more about the intended purpose of the publication, and what types of articles they publish.
If you already know who you are interviewing, you may also want to take this opportunity to find some articles written by your interviewee. On the advanced search page, you can search for articles written by a specific author. Make sure you use the options highlighted below to focus your search so you see articles published in the correct field of study. This is especially important if your interviewee has a common last name!
Academic Search Complete is another multidisciplinary database, but unlike JSTOR it is more evenly balanced between the sciences and the humanities, and tends to have more recent articles available. Another difference is that Academic Search Complete contains popular publications in addition to scholarly journals.
To browse for articles, first click on the Publications link at the top of the main search page.
From there you can search within the thousands of different publications contained in this database. Do a very broad search for your discipline, and make sure you change from the default alphabetical search to subject and description search.
Pay attention to the areas highlighted below in your search results - these will tell you whether or not Academic Search Complete has full-text articles available for a publication, what format it is in, and whether or not there is any restriction on accessing the most recent issues published.
Click on a title that sounds interesting to you, and look at the information on the next page to learn more about what sorts of articles they publish, and whether or not they are a peer-reviewed source. You can then use the menu on the right of the screen to find articles.
In addition to general, multidisciplinary databases, the library provides you with access to numerous subject-specific databases. You can access these through the subject guides on this page. If you need any assistance using these resources, please contact a librarian.
If you are planning to go into a medical field, remember that Mercer has a separate Medical library, and they have their own medical databases. As a Mercer student, you can access these by going to the School of Medicine Library and using the computers there. Ask a librarian there for assistance, if needed.
This can be a difficult topic to search on. Before you get started, you may want to review the search tips and strategies guide. Here are some good places to look for scholarly articles on this topic:
Sociological Collection (EBSCO) — Provides information on all areas of sociology, including social behavior, human tendencies, interaction, relationships, community development, culture and social structure.
America: History and Life (EBSCO) — Contains journal citations on the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. It includes indexing for 1700 English language historical journals, including selected local history journals. The database also includes citations to dissertations and book reviews in American and Canadian history. Strong English-language journal coverage is balanced by an international perspective on topics and events
Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) — Provides abstracts and indexing for over 3,800, as well as full text for over 3,200 scholarly journals and general magazines.
In addition to scholarly sources, you should also try to locate high-quality non-scholarly sources. Newspapers and magazines will probably be best, but you may also want to search online.
ProQuest Newspapers — Provides full-text access to major national newspapers such as New York Times and Wall Street Journal in addition to hundreds of smaller papers such as Atalanta Journal & Constitution. Coverage includes full-text articles but not advertisements, illustrations, or photographs.
You can use Google to search for news, as well, just be aware that it includes blogs that may not be good sources, and also that some of the higher-quality news sources may ask for payment to view a complete article. If that happens, contact a librarian or use library resources to locate the full text for free.
No matter where you locate your sources, be sure they pass the C.R.A.P. Test!
Locating Full Text