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A Writing Center Tutor's Guide to the Library

This guide offers an overview of WCC Library resources for Writing Center Tutors.

Strategies for Finding Full Text Articles:

Databases under the General tab cover a wide range of topics and provide many types of sources (journals, newspapers, magazines and other sources). Under specific subject tabs you will find specialized databases that provide access to scholarly articles in a particular field. 

Research Guides prepared by Librarians often provide suggested databases to use for specific assignments along with other guidelines and requirements. 

Find your KEYWORDS

When searching the databases for articles, do not type in whole sentences. Pick out the subject terms in the topic:

e.g. How is the health of shift workers affected by sleep disruptions?

Those will be your KEYWORDS to use when searching for sources: Health AND Shift Workers AND Sleep Disruptions

Think of other terms that can be used to describe the topic you are researching and try those also: e.g. Sleep Disruptions: Sleep; Sleep patterns; Sleep Disorders; Irregular Sleep; Sleep Quality etc.; Shift Work, Night Shift etc.; 


You might need to search multiple times in a single database before deciding it does not have any useful articles.

Use the asterisk * to truncate words and widen your search. Sleep* will search for Sleep, Sleeper and Sleeping.

Use quotation marks to keep phrases together: e.g. "Shift Workers" 

e.g. search "shift work" AND sleep disruption* AND health

 or sleep AND "shift work"

or  sleep disorder* AND "night shift" AND health

Try your search terms in different combinations to get the greatest number of results.


To ensure your search returns articles that meet the requirements of the assignment, be sure the use the limiters under Search Options before you start your search.

The databases can tell you about articles they have no rights to reproduce. To ensure you can also access the article, check the Full-Text box.

To limit your search results to professional journals: Look for a box for Scholarly, Academic or Peer-Reviewed Journals and check it.

Fill in the Year of Publication or Published  boxes to limit your results to a specific date range.


Scroll through your list of results and read the article titles (in blue) to see which look useful. The titles may not contain your search words so don't pass over results you think are irrelevant.

Click on the magnifying glass to the right of an article title to read the abstract (summary) of the article. This will give you a better idea of what the article is about.

If you are not getting many results, look at the subject terms and abstract and see if there are alternate spellings or other terms that mean the same as what you are searching for. Re-try your search using these terms.

If you find an article you wish to use, click on the title to open the full record.


View your ARTICLE

To see the full text of the article, click the PDF Full Text icon on the left. The pdf will have its own print/save toolbar when it opens - do not use the browser toolbar.

Use the toolbar on the right to print, save or email your article or the citation. Use the cite button to get a properly formatted (MLA, APA) citation for your article, be sure to choose the correct format for your class.

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