Research Basics for Undergraduate English: Resources
What sort of resources you need for your paper will determine where you start your search. (you can view our more than 900 research databases here). Reference works, scholarly and popular sources, newspapers - all are sources you might use for your beginning research. For a refresher on how to determine whether a resource is right for your needs, review these helpful tips.
PS: Wondering whether your source is credible? Nip your doubts in the bud with help from our tutorial.
Reference sources, such as encyclopedias and general knowledge sites like Wikipedia can be valuable for finding background information and expanding your knowledge about your topic. They should not be the only source used for your research.
It consists of a fully searchable and browsable collection of authoritative references, including Britannica's latest article database, hundreds of articles not found in the print Britannica, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (Tenth Edition), the Britannica Book of the Year thousands of links to other World Wide Web sites selected by Britannica editors.
Find comprehensive collections of in-depth, peer-reviewed summaries on an ever-growing range of topics, including history, communication, environmental science, education, politics, psychology, religion, and more.
Find books, encyclopedias, and dictionaries and use tools to explore research methods.
Note: UA's subscription includes primarily books and reference, but does not include all the datasets, or most of the videos.
Past and present newspapers and periodicals can be valuable resources, as they represent primary sources that can reveal how any given event was received at the time at which it occurred, and therefore provide an insight into their audiences' opinions and attitudes toward certain topics.
However, now more than ever, while a news source may come from a reliable database, it is still important to critically evaluate its content. Learn how to evaluate your sources' credibility and identify "fake news" here.
Full text index of news articles from the Arizona Daily Star. This database includes locally produced news articles.
It does not include Associated Press stories, guest comments from editorials, or specials to the Arizona Daily Star.
For the current week's issues, a seven day archive of the Star is available on-line at http://azstarnet.com/all-headlines/. Registration is required to read more than two articles.
Find news from U.S. and international newspapers, television and radio broadcasts, newswires, and blogs, as well as business profiles, patents, and legal research. Note: May require users to log in with their NetID even on campus.
Current full-text of the Wall Street Journal newspaper back to 1984, with in-depth coverage of national & international finance and business as well as coverage of general news events.
Scholarly (or peer-reviewed) sources are important parts of the academic research process. Scholarly sources are written by and for experts in a particular field and use scholarly or technical language. These sources are reviewed by multiple specialists/experts in the field of study before being accepted for publication, and tend to consist of longer articles about the topic. Scholarly/academic sources are very focused on specific topics and don't often provide background information on your topic.
There are scholarly books and journals on most topics, including whatever majors you're interested in. To search for journals specific to your subject, go to our Database List and click "Search by Subject."
Working on your assignment off-campus? You may encounter some difficulty accessing your scholarly sources. Learn how to get around these access issues here.
The following configuration may be needed to access UA-subscribed content from off campus:
1. In Google Scholar, open the "hamburger" menu in the far upper left next to the Google Scholar logo and select "Settings.
2. From the settings menu, select "Library links".
3. Type "University of Arizona" in box and select "University of Arizona - Full-Text @ UofA Libraries". Then click Save.
4. When searching, articles for which we have full text access will display with a link "Full-Text @ UofA Libraries"; select this link to access it. (Please note that this link may be hidden in the smaller links below the citation, and you may need to click on the double arrow to the right of them to find it.)
5. To export citations to a bibliography manager, such as RefWorks or EndNote, go to the Settings menu, click on "search results", select the desired manager in the drop-down menu next to "show links to import citations into", and Save.
Search our library collection, databases, unique digital collections, and open access materials from a single search box. Note: After selecting the Primo link above, use the Library Search box available on the library homepage.
Popular sources are the types of sources we are most likely to come across or interact with on a daily basis. These types of resources are written by and for a general audience that does not have any extensive prior knowledge on its subject, and are not peer-reviewed.
Your friend's blog? Popular source. BuzzFeed? Popular source. Twilight? Popular source. You get the picture. (But when in doubt, refer to our tutorial.)
Search for books, articles, audio, video, and other digital materials from the collections of the UA Libraries and thousands more libraries around the world. Note: A free version of Worldcat is at worldcat.org