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ENG 088 — Developmental Reading- August 2014

Writing Collage

Contact Information

Carol Dales


The Library Homepage

Library Basic Information

Why Use the Library??

Finding Books & Journal Articles

Finding Journal Articles in Library Databases

Recommended Databases

Scholarly Internet Research


How to Cite your Sources

General Research Tips

Important Definitions

Library Basic Information

The Library Homepage

Start your research by going to the University Library Homepage.


  • The SEARCH BOX - Start your search for books and e-books here. Use the tabs at the top to search for books and articles put on reserve by your professors, to access the online databases and more.
  • ARTICLES, E-BOOKS & ONLINE SCHOLARLY RESOURCES - These links will take you to pages which will help you to efficiently use University Library resources.
  • REQUEST MATERIALS FROM OTHER LIBRARIES - If the book or article you would like is not available at CSUDH, you can find it at other libraries and request it through the Inter-library Loan (ILL) process.
  • RESEARCH & SCHOLARLY ASSISTANCE - These links will guide you through the research process and connect you to the Reference Department for research assistance.
  • LIBRARY SERVICES & INFORMATION - Find your way, renew books and access other information about the Library and its services from these links.
  • LIBRARY AFFILIATES - links to other campus programs housed within the Library.


The top menu bar provides drop down lists to resources found within the University Library web site and provides links to the Library's Twitter feed, Facebook page and other social media activities.


Here you will find links to Library Hours, Library Announcements and Quick Links to renew books online and email a librarian for research assistance.

Library Basic Information

Library Location

Library Hours

Reference Desk

Reference Appointments

Chat Services

Library Tutorials

Why Use the Library??

Why should I even bother to use the Library?

  • Not everything is on the Internet!
    Just doing a Google search will not always bring up the scholarly information you need!
    The Library website lets you browse and read electronic books and articles that are not freely available online as well as leading you to printed books, journals and magazines and encyclopedias that you just can't find online.

  • Not everything is free online.
    The Library gives you free access to fee-based databases with hundreds of thousands of full text magazine, journal article and newspaper articles at your fingertips.

  • Librarians select high quality scholarly print books, ebooks and article databases especially for your classes.

  • Librarians are available to help you, in person at the Library and through email, phone and chat.

    Visit the CSUDH Library Home Page to find out more!

Finding Books & Journal Articles

To find a book or journal in the University Library use the maroon colored SEARCH BOX on the homepage.  Search by keyword, title, author, subject, ISBN/ISSN number or call number with the drop down selections and then put in your search term/s in the search bar on the right. 

Results will be books or journals in our collection, including electronic books which you can read online. When you click on a book or journal of interest, a page will appear which will provide a more detailed record of the book/journal. This record will include the location of the book in the Library, its status (available, checked out, lost, etc.) and subject terms. Quite often it will also include the table of contents and a summary.

How to Use the Torofind Online Catalog is a more in-depth guide on how to search the catalog and how books and journals are organized in the Library.

To find a book on the shelves read about our Shelving Locations.


To access the e-book you have selected, click the link below the title of the book. If you click on the title of the book you will get the detailed record and can follow the link from there to open the e-book. 

Here are some useful e-book titles for college freshmen:


The Academic Writer's Toolkit A User's Manual


The nuts & bolts of college writing



Sin Boldly! Dr. Dave's Guide To Writing The College Paper

Webster's New World Student Writing Handbook

Student Guide To Research In The Digital Age How To Locate And Evaluate Information Sources


Additional sources can be found under the subject heading College readers.

The majority of our e-books come from three major vendors: ebrary, EBSCO and Safari.
Each interface is different, so use the Help links to find out how to download, save, print, highlight pages, keep notes on pages and more.
All of the e-book databases allow you to create an account. Most vendors require that you register in order to download, highlight, print, etc.

Most of our e-books
are licensed for multiple users, but some only allow a single user at any one time. If you get a message that the book is in use, check back a little later to see if has been released and "put back on the shelf." Be sure to exit from the book when finished, so other students can use it.

Reserve Books

If your professor has put a book on reserve, to be shared by the class, you can find this book by using the 2nd tab of the SEARCH BOX, COURSE RESERVES. Use the drop down fields to select either Course Number or Professor's Name, enter the corresponding search term and hit Search. The record will show you the status of the book (on the shelf, checked out, etc.). To get the book from the Reserve Desk (which is located on the 2nd floor, east of the entrance to the Library) print out this record, or record the title and call number, and take it to the Reserve Desk.

Checking Out Books

If there are books you would like to check out, take them to the Circulation Counter located at the Library entrance (most Reserve Books and most of the journal collection are for use in the Library only). You will need your valid student ID card or a notification from Admissions & Records that you are a current student to check out books. Books are loaned for a period of 28 days; you may check out up to 30 books at a time. Read more about the Circulation Policies here.

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

Finding Journal Articles in Library Databases

You can find online journal articles by following this search process:

  1. Decide on your search terms. Brainstorm general keywords that describe your topic of interest and then think of synonyms for these terms that might appear in professional journals. For example: human rights = civil rights = abuse of rights. Abuse = violence = hostility = bloodshed. Remember, changing your keywords will bring up different results.

  2. Start at the Library home page and select the ARTICLES & eRESOURCES tab on the main search box (or the "Quick Search" link below the wine colored box). Enter one (or a few) of your keywords into the search field. Combining terms can help zero in on good results. Use "quotation marks" around phrases to keep the words together.
    This search technique can also be used with the Quick Search link in the area below the search box.
    Quick Search searches almost ALL CSUDH article databases and materials in the Library's online catalog (books, etc.) so you will get many, many results!

  3. To narrow your search to specific databases start with the Articles, e-Books, Online Scholarly Resources area below the search box. Click one of the headings that is appropriate for your research: Database by Subject, Database by Title, Frequently Used Databases or Journal by Title. A description of a few, select databases for this course is included below.

  4. Some databases will default to a basic search screen, others open in a more advanced search screen. The advanced search screens allow you to use the operators described below:
    • Use AND between terms to include both terms in the resulting articles; this will reduce the number of results you receive
    • Use OR between terms to expand the results to include either one term or the other
    • Use NOT to assure that results do not include a certain word

  5. It is now time to add Limiters to help narrow down the results. Each database has some sort of limitation feature (usually found in a sidebar) that you can apply to your search. Try them out!
    Basic limiters include:
    • Selecting Scholarly or Peer Reviewed Journals
    • Changing the date range
    • Selecting the language

  6. If you find an article that is perfect for your research topic, look at the SUBJECT terms listed with the information about the article. Then, repeat the search using those subject terms as a subject field search. This will bring up similar articles.

When you find an article of interest you will have options to:

  • Open the PDF full-text format of the article (this is the best option, as the PDF is the exact copy of how the article appeared in the journal, thus showing tables, graphs, images and page numbers).
  • Open the HTML full-text web page format of the article; or
  • Find the article at CSUDH Library (the document is not in the database you are searching, but is available in another CSUDH database; just follow the links to get to it).
  • If the article is not available at CSUDH, you can request it through Inter-Library Loan. It takes about a week to receive it once your request is submitted. You might also choose to ask a librarian if it can be found elsewhere; sometimes we can work a little magic :).

Most databases also allow you to email the article or save it into a folder so you can easily go back to it. To create your own folder within the database, establish an account by creating a user login and password.Some databases also provide the format for basic citation styles. Be sure to look for these options before you move on to other results.

If all this is too much and you still aren't sure where to start or how to continue, get friendly help by visiting or contacting the Library Reference Desk.

Recommended Databases

Library Databases:

    This is a multi-subject, general database with full-text for more than 4,600 journals, including full-text for more than 3,900 peer-reviewed titles (NOTE: not every article is available in full text). This is a good starting point for many searches.
  • Readers Guide Full Text
    Covers over 450 periodicals as far back as 1983 and provides searchable full text of articles from over 250 journals as far back as 1994. PDF page images of full-text articles provide access to illustrations, photographs and other graphical content from the original article.

    Objective and balanced treatment of current issues and hot topics; each 12,000-word report by an experienced journalist examines all sides of an issue and includes charts, graphs, sidebar articles as well as a chronology, extensive bibliography and a list of contacts. Excellent source for research papers on controversial topics.

Scholarly Internet Research

If you decide to look on the Internet for information, be aware that not all websites are created equal.
Some sites, such as government sites, are valid sources of information, but others are full of opinion represented as fact. Then there are sites like Wikipedia which seem valid. However, Wikipedia has no check and balance process to ensure that the information posted is correct or up-to-date.

Remember: Wikipedia is great to introduce you to the general background on a subject. Sometimes, even librarians check a Wikipedia article to get quick background information on a topic new to them. The bibliography part of a Wikipedia article sometimes provides reliable resources to help you begin your research process. But Wikipedia is not a scholarly source for academic research.

In general, use these guidelines to assess the authoritative value of a particular website:

  • Credibility - Is it easy to figure out who's behind the information? Do they have qualifications in the field or another reason to ensure the trustworthiness of the website?
  • Accuracy - Are the sources well cited? Is the information up-to-date? Are there broad, sweeping generalizations that are impossible to verify?
  • Reasonableness - What is the point-of-view of the website? 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?
  • Support - Is it possible to verify the information from another authoritative source?


For more information about judging whether a website is reliable, take a look at this YouTube video:


Useful Scholarly Websites on The Deep Web:

    The results from this site bring up a number of government resources in addition to some articles in academic databases. If we subscribe to the database, the article will open for you. You can also choose to search by a few select databases and deep web search engines.

    is a virtual library of Internet resources geared towards the university community. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information. Not all links are current or updated, however, and searching can be frustrating.

    This site provides a well organized point of access for reliable trustworthy websites. All links are selected and approved by librarians from public and academic libraries.

Need a Topic??

  • Idea Generator
    Struggling to come up with a topic?  Use the Idea Generator!  On the right you will find a number of broad categories.  Click on a category to browse it and explore some ideas- then devise a more specific topic that can be turned into a research question.

  • Hot Topics Guide is a selection of guides on popular topics with reliable Internet resources selected by academic librarians to help students gather excellent information for their papers and projects.


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." (source: Oxford English Dictionary)

Instances of plagiarism include:

  • Quoting or paraphrasing someone's work in your paper without citing it
  • Expressing someone else's ideas as your own

Plagiarism is a serious matter and could result in a lower or failing grade and even expulsion from the University.

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.

How can I avoid it? - You can avoid plagiarism by giving credit where credit is due and always citing your sources (see the next section for help with that). Whenever you insert a quotation, re-word information you got from a source or present an idea developed by someone else, be sure to include a citation in the proper style. It is important to take detailed notes on where you are finding information for your paper as you find it.  This helps to ensure you will cite the information correctly as you begin writing your paper.  

For more information about plagiarism, see your student handbook, the CSUDH Student Code of Conduct, and this page from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL).

P.S.: Take a look at our new CSUDH Library anti-plagiarism tutorial: Plagiarism: How to recognize it and get it out of your life! (and don't forget to try out the challenging plagiarism game at the very end!)

How to Cite your Sources

Every formal research paper includes at its conclusion a list that describes the books, articles and other sources consulted. This list may be called "Works Cited" or "Bibliography".

This list gives credit to those whose ideas you have referred to or quoted, provides information your readers can use to find further information and gives your paper scholarly authority.

To avoid having to track down at the last minute any missing information needed for your bibliography or list of works cited, it is useful to record the necessary information (on file cards or in a computer file) about every source you consult while you are doing your research.

There are many different ways to format citations, described fully in books called "style guides." The most common styles are APA, MLA, and Chicago/Turabian. Although the way you present information in each is a little different, they all usually require the same data. Check with your professor to see which style your course requires


Check out the links below for resources on how to cite sources in research papers.

The Purdue OWL website - Explanations and examples of how to correctly cite books, articles, and web resources in APA, MLA, and other common formats.

Library Reference & Information Desk - Stop by the reference desk on the 2nd floor for in-library access to our copies of the MLA, APA, and Chicago style guides.

General Research Tips
  1. Once you are successfully logged in to a database, read the instructions (Help screen) to figure out how the database works.

    To develop an effective search, look at your topic or research question and pull out the keywords. Then think of any synonyms for each of the keywords.
    For example: Do video games contribute to violent behavior in children?

    KEYWORDS video games violence children
    SYNONYMS gaming aggression youth

    Your first search becomes: video games and violence and children

    • When doing a keyword search, try to find one article that is exactly what you need. Look at its subject terms and do another search with those index (subject/controlled vocabulary) terms.

    • If the journal article index has a Thesaurus or Subject Guide, look there to find correct search terms for your topic.

    • Did you find too many articles?
      • Use more specific search terms
      • Limit by language, publication, date, full text, peer reviewed.
      • Use controlled vocabulary (look in the database subject guide or thesaurus)
      • Narrow your search with AND and NOT.

    • Did you find too few articles? None? Out-of-context?
      • Use different search terms, synonyms, alternate terms and phrases
      • Check your spelling
      • Use truncation (child* = child, child's, children and other words that begin with child. )
      • Broaden your search by joining synonyms with OR
      • Search a different journal index
      • Ask for help!!!

  2. Use multiple search terms and combine them using AND, OR and NOT.

  3. Try using synonyms for your search terms.

  4. Notice the Subject terms for the articles that meet your need and search on those terms.

  5. Use database limiters to reduce search results to those of high relevance.

  6. Search in multiple databases; they are all different.

  7. If using information found on the Web, use only authoritative web sites.

  8. Keep track of your citations!

  9. Don't let yourself get frustrated; ask for help either from your professor or a librarian.

  10. Relax, enjoy the process and just think about how much you are learning!

Important Definitions

ABSTRACT - a brief summary of the main content of an article.

APA - a citation and formatting style used in the social sciences. APA represents the American Psychological Association.

CITATION - the basic information you need to find or cite the full-text of an article; includes article title, author's name, name of publication, date, volume & issue no. and page numbers. To find out more about citations, take a look at this Deconstructing Citations Tutorial.

DATABASE - a collection of information that is organized and easily searchable; usually in reference to electronic information.

FULL-TEXT - the complete article.

JOURNALS (scholarly or peer reviewed) - are written for experts by experts in a field. These journals are published for an academic audience.  The articles undergo a thorough peer review process before they are published.  This review process makes scholarly articles more reliable and more useful for researchers.

MAGAZINE - a publication with popular interest articles and broad subject coverage.  Targeted to the general public or specific interest groups.

MLA - a citation and formatting style used in the humanities.  MLA represents the Modern Language Association.

PERIODICALS - are publications that are issued at regular intervals including journals and magazines.

Library Basic Information

Library Location

Library Hours

Reference Desk

Reference Appointments

Chat Services

Library Tutorials