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Research Guides

The Research Process: A How-To Guide: 4. Find Articles

This guide walks you through the seven steps of the research process.

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Why use articles?

  • Articles in periodicals often provide the latest news or thought on a particular topic
  • Scholarly journal articles typically analyze more specific topics than books do
  • They are the primary means by which scholars in the natural sciences and most social sciences publish their research

Types of articles

Scholarly: Written in an academic style by experts in a field

Trade: Written for people in a specific industry or profession

Popular: Written in an accessible style for a general audience

For more help with this distinction, see this table.


Limit to: audio

Search our subject databases

Search Tips

Start with a Keyword search on the various keywords you identified in Steps 1 and 2.

Two helpful tips:

  • Use the Boolean operators of AND and OR to connect your terms, as shown in the work form in Step 1.  To learn more, watch our video tutorial on Boolean operators.
  • Use the asterisk (*) to search for variations of a word; for example, deter* will find books that mention the words deter, deterrent, or deterrence.

Examples of good searches:

  • Afghanistan AND (women or female) AND rights
  • (death penalty OR capital punishment) AND deter*
  • Thoreau AND (natur* OR wilderness OR environment*)

Once you find relevant articles, examine their subject headings and conduct Subject searches on the ones that seem potentially fruitful.

Get Full-Text of Articles

If the full text of an article is not available in the database, here are tips for getting it elsewhere:

  • In the databases, click   to see if the full text is:
    • in another database
    • in Geisel Library's collection
    • or if you can request a copy via Interlibrary Loan.
  • Search the journal's name in Journal Finder to see if we have access to the year/volume/issue you need.
  • For more help, ask a librarian or see the FAQ on finding full text: