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SPA 350 — Culture of Spain

ATTENTION: This research guide was last modified on September 09, 2011, before the January 2012 redesign of the library's home page. Information on how to access journal articles, databases, and other library resources may be inaccurate or outdated.

For up-to-date instructions on accessing materials, please visit our tutorial pages instead.



Carol Dales


Getting Started

Basic Library Information

Finding Journal Articles at CSUDH

Off-Campus Access

Useful Books & Ebooks

Useful Databases


Internet Research

General Research Tips

Getting Started

Start your research by going to the library home page.

Site Organization:

  • Main - Here you will find the most-used links and information
  • Use the Library - Links to pages which will help you use the library
  • Help - Basic Library Information and Help pages
  • Services & Depts. - Services the library offers and departmental web pages

Checking out books: You can see what books are available in the Torofind Library Catalog. Once you have found the books you want, take them to the Circulation Counter on the second floor of Library North to check them out.  You will need to show your valid student ID card to check out books.

Click here for a tutorial on how to use the Torofind online catalog.

Library's Book Borrowing Policies

If the library does not have a book you need, you can request it via Inter-Library Loan!

Basic Library Information

Finding Journal Articles at CSUDH

To get journal articles, go to the library home page and click the Journal Articles & Electronic Resources link under the "Find Journal Articles Now" heading. Click the heading that sounds the most like your situation.

Once you are in a database, you can start to search for articles. All database search options are slightly different, but they usually include several search boxes you can fill out. Many databases will also let you search only for peer-reviewed or scholarly journals.

Articles which you can read in that database will have a link to the PDF full text or the HTML full text. Click on that text link to read the article. Some databases also let you e-mail yourself the files by clicking on an e-mail link.

Some articles will say "Find it @ CSUDH Library" instead of having links to the full text. If you see this, it means the text of that article is not in the database you are searching. Click the link to see a list of databases that do have the full text. If there are no databases containing the article you want, you can request it via Inter-Library Loan.

Off-Campus Access

If you are using a computer on campus, you can access all of our electronic databases and ebooks without any further steps. Just click on the database name in the Database List and you will go immediately to the search screen.

If you are off campus, when you click on a database name, you will see a screen asking you to log in with your MyCSUDH Username and Password (the same information you use to log in to Blackboard, MyCSUDH, and student e-mail). After you enter your login information, you should be able to access any of our electronic databases and ebooks just like you would on campus.  If you have problems, try resetting your password.  If that doesn't work either, give the reference desk a call at (310) 243-3586 and we will help you troubleshoot.

Useful Books & Ebooks

Spanish Theatre 1920-1995 Strategies In Protest And Imagination
Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture The LIbrary owns many books on Spanish-speaking cultures. Try the following search in the library's online catalog and you will see a list of books.

  • Go to the library's online catalog
  • In the drop-down menu to the left, select "Subject - Subject Words"
  • In the text area to the right, type in Latin America
  • For a list of other similar subjects, you can scroll through the list this search returns.
  • For a list of general-purpose books, click the  Latin America link
  • Once you have a list of books on the screen, you can sort your results with the drop-down menu at the right.
  • Select "Sort by year - newest to oldest" to see a list of books with the most recent books first.

The library also has several collections of eBooks: books that have been scanned  that you can access from home through the library website.

Here are a few eBooks that may be of interest (the Library has many more):


Useful Databases


  • Academic Search Premier
    This multi-disciplinary database provides full text for more than 8,500 journals, including full text for more than 4,600 peer-reviewed titles. PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals, and searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,000 titles.
  • Los Angeles Times (1988 - current) or Los Angeles Times Historical (1881- 1987) - These two databases contain the full text of every newspaper put out by the Los Angeles Times from 1881 up to the present day's edition. 
  • Proquest Newspapers (1988-date) - contains newspapers from all over the world, including El As, El Mundo, El Pais and Expansion from Madrid--some searchable back issues are included. 
  • MLA International Bibliography produced by the Modern Language Association, consists of bibliographic records pertaining to literature, language, linguistics, and folklore and includes coverage from 1963 to the present. The MLA International Bibliography provides access to scholarly research in nearly 4,000 journals and series. It also covers relevant monographs, working papers, proceedings, bibliographies, and other formats.
  • Project Muse offers nearly 200 quality journal titles from some 30 scholarly publishers--covers fields of literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics, and many others.  
  • SocINDEX - SocINDEX with Full Text, offers coverage from all subdisciplines of sociology, including abortion, anthropology, criminology, criminal justice, cultural sociology, demography, economic development, ethnic & racial studies, gender studies, marriage & family, politics, religion, rural sociology, social psychology, social structure, social work, sociological theory, sociology of education, substance abuse, urban studies, violence, welfare, and others.


What is plagiarism? - Plagiarism is "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." (OED)

When you quote or paraphrase somebody else's work without citing it, you are plagiarizing their work. Plagiarism could result in a lower or failing grade and even in your expulsion from university. Just rewording your work isn't enough to avoid plagiarism. Since you are still borrowing information heavily from another writer, you still need to include a citation.

But I didn't know! - Ignorance of the law is unfortunately no excuse. You can commit plagiarism without meaning to, and it's just as serious a problem if you do.

How can I avoid it? - You can avoid plagiarism by always citing your sources. Whenever you put a quotation or borrow information heavily from a source, be sure you include a citation in the proper APA style. This will let your professor know you aren't trying to pass the idea off as your own. Taking detailed notes on where you get your information will prevent you from forgetting which is your own work and which is borrowed from others.

For more information, see your student handbook and the "Avoiding Plagiarism" link on the LH side of this page.

Internet Research
Some web sites are valid sources of information, but others are filled with opinion
represented as fact. While there isn't a 100% effective way to figure out what kind of site
you're looking at, here are some guidelines to follow when using the internet for research:
  • Check Credibility - Is it easy to figure out who's behind the information?
    Does whoever it is know what they're talking about?
    Do they have qualifications in the field
    or some other reason to be trust-worthy in it?
  • Check Accuracy - Are the sources cited well?
    Is the information up-to-date?
    Are there any broad, sweeping generalisations
    that are impossible to verify?
  • Check Reasonableness - What is the page's point-of-view? Is it a corporate
    page trying to sell you a product? Is it a government or educational site where the
    main purpose is to educate people?
  • Check Support - Is it possible to double-check the information in another location?

Useful Websites:

For more information, check out our guide on Evaluating Web Resources

General Research Tips

Use multiple search terms - Not every database or article uses exactly the same words to describe the same thing. Make sure you try several synonyms for the term you're trying to find. Most databases have a link titled "thesaurus" or "subject terms" which you can use to find out what words to search for.

Search in multiple places - The more places you look, the more information you're likely to find. Don't just search in one database and assume that's all you'll be able to find! Take a look at the list of Useful Databases earlier on in this page for where to start your search.

Ask for help - Don't be afraid to ask for help! Research can be an exhausting process, and sometimes a fresh perspective will make your task much easier. You can stop by the reference desk in the library and ask any of the reference librarians for help with your research. You can also submit an online help request which a librarian will answer within a day or two.

Don't leave it until the last minute - The earlier you start, the better your paper will be. Starting early gives you plenty of time to read and absorb the information so that you'll be properly informed when writing your paper.