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WRPR 160: Borders, Walls and Bridges (HC): Journal Articles

Writing Program 160: Borders, Walls and Bridges: Cultural Approaches to Divided Cities (Farber) Spring 2015

Why Use Journal Articles?

Scholarly journal articles are important sources of information offering:

  1. Originality.  Provides new evidence and interpretations.
  2. Authoritativeness.  Written by researchers for their peers.
  3. Documentation.  Cites key scholarship in footnotes that you can check.
  4. Reliability.  Reviewed by editors for significance and accuracy.
  5. Conciseness.  Presents an argument directly since length is often limited to 40 pages or less.
  6. Engagement.  Responds to issues and adds to an ongoing dialog.
  7. Currency.  Treats recent issues more quickly than books due to publishing schedules

Finding Journal Articles

1) Looking for journal articles by the article title:  "Lyric Bodies: Poets on Disability and Masculinity"  

      Check Tripod Articles, where many journal articles are available full-text.


2) Looking by the journal name:  Publications of the Modern Language Association of America  

      Check Tripod Books and More, where all journals, as well as newspapers and popular magazines, are listed by title.

         Tip: Change Keyword in the search box to Journal Title


3) Looking for journal articles by subject:

      Use journal databases where you can apply a full range of search techniques to find scholarship on your topic.  See the Searching tab for more details.  

      Identifying which database/s to search is a strategic choice:  

         Multi-disciplinary databases, sometimes with magazines and newspapers included.  They cover the top-tier journals but will not go into depth in all subject areas:  

            Tripod Articles   

            Proquest Research Library   Enhance your PRL search by choosing a subject area with its related databases or adding individual databases from the link at the top of the page.

            Web of Science   Covers the humanities and social sciences as well

            JSTOR   All articles are full-text and come from quality journals; but the latest 3 to 5 years of articles are usually not included.

         Subject-specific databases give more in-depth coverage of topics.  

            The Research Guides website outlines the major databases by subject area.  It also includes resource lists for classes and for categories like news and government information.  The Research Guides site can be searched by word or phrase (in quotations) to find something specific. 

            For your writing project you may be doing some research in the area of biography, literary criticism, or film studies.  Major databases in those areas are:

            America: History and Life [covering North American history; see Historical Abstracts for history of other regions]

            Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals [covering city planning and architecture ]

            MLA International Bibliography [covering literary criticism]

            Sociological Abstracts  


4) Accessing journal articles online and in print

      Online journals are often available from more than one source.  The Tripod Find It menu directs you to the sources and shows the years covered.  If you have multiple choices, the university presses, JSTOR, and Project Muse offer the best functionality.




      Some journals in Tripod do not have all their issues accessible online.  In many cases those issues not online are available in print.  There are separate records in Tripod for the online and print versions.  If you need a 1994 article from NACLA, a leading journal on Latin America, the print journal record in Tripod shows that it is available on the shelf.  We have the journal going back to 1972 in print, under different titles in Tripod (as the name changed) but together on the shelf.