COLWRIT 9: ESL - Khanna

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About this Guide

Current Topics, pros and cons, beginner researchers

Quick Links

Library web site header

Read an introduction to the campus libraries for undergraduates.

Set up your computer for off campus access to library databases.

Need a map of the campus libraries?

Each library has its own hours.  Click on the calendar for each library to view a month at a time.

This guide has been archived

Please note: this course guide was created during a previous semester, and is no longer being actively maintained. For a list of current course guides, please see

Article Databases

Search an article database to find citations (title, author, title of journal, date, page numbers) for articles on a particular topic.  The Library gives you access to over 200 article databases covering different disciplines.

1.  Think about which academic disciplines might write about your topic.  Examples:  literature, film, anthropology, history...

2.  Find the appropriate article database by subject (academic discipline or department).  Look for "Recommended" databases.

Library home > Articles > Article Databases by Subject

Searching Academic Search Complete

A general article database that covers all disciplines is useful for interdisciplinary topics.  Example:

Library home > Articles > General Article Databases > Academic Search Complete

Sample Searches:

1.  organ don*  (select a field optional)

compensat* (select a field optional)

* = truncation symbol or wildcard (child* = child, childs, children, childish, childhood...)

2.  Look for additional terms that might be useful; if necessary, add a term to narrow down your search results:

organ don*  (select a field optional)

compensat* (select a field optional)

ethic* (select a field optional)

2.  Another example:  using alternative terms, narrowing down your search

sex or violence (select a field optional)

television or movie* (select a field optional)

need to narrow the search:  add a term

sex or violence (select a field optional)

television or movie* (select a field optional)

restrict* (select a field optional)

still too many results; let's narrow our topic:

violence (select a field optional)

television (select a field optional)

restrict* (select a field optional)

look at items that seem useful; look at their subject terms/descriptors

click on violence on television

again, add another useful term

violence on television (de)

rating system


violence on television (de)



violence on television (de)


Most article databases allow you to save items to a list/folder/etc. and e-mail, print or download the citation.  A few databases will allow you to output citations in a particular citation style (ex:  MLA or Chicago).

Where is the actual article?

The full text of some articles is available online via the Library's article databases. For other articles you'll need to find the physical library location and call number of the journal.

The easiest way to do this is to use the UC e-links feature which is available in many (not all) databases.

When you find an item you're interested in, click on the UC e-links icon, which will lead to links to full text if available, or else a link to the Next Generation MELVYL catalog.  Click on the Next Generation MELVYL link to search for the library location of the journal.

Watch the UC e-links movie!  (4 minutes).  For assistance in reading a Next Generation MELVYL record for a journal title, go here  or ask for assistance.

Newspaper Databases

To find databases that allow you to search for newspaper articles:

Library home > Articles > News Article Databases

Example:  Access World News

1.  (All Text):  homosexual* armed forces

2.  To narrow, pull down the "All Text" menu to " Headline/Lead Paragraphs"

3.  To narrow further, pull down the same menu to "Headline"

4.  Note other related terms you could search:

gay* military


don't ask don't tell

Notice that you can limit your results by area of the world, date, etc.


To find books, DVDs, maps, sound recordings, manuscripts, and much more - everything except articles - use a library catalog.

OskiCat = most UC Berkeley libraries

MELVYL = all UC campus libraries, including all UC Berkeley libraries

What's the difference?  more details here

For each item make sure you know the name of the physical library, call number, and whether or not it's checked out, library use only, etc.

Call numbers are on the spine of the book; learn how to read them so you can find what you need on the shelves.

Why Can't I Just Use Google?

If you want to use Google for research, use Google Books or Google Scholar.

Use the Advanced Search for more searching options.

Remember that Google Books search results do not necessarily include the full text of the book; some include no text at all, some include a limited preview (only some pages of the book).

When you use Google Scholar, make sure to update your Scholar Preferences (see below) so you'll be able to use UC e-links to find the UC Berkeley library locations/online availability of the articles.

Step 1: If you haven't already done this, set up your proxy server access by following the directions at When you get to a point where you are accessing resources that the Library pays for, you will be prompted for your CalNet ID and password. For more help see:

Step 2: Change your “Scholar Preferences.” Access these by clicking on the small icon in the upper right of the screen.

Step 3: In search box next to "Library Links," type in University of California Berkeley and click on “Find Library”

Step 4: Check all the boxes next to "University of California Berkeley"

Step 5: Click on "Save Preferences" at bottom of page

Finding Statistics

Library home > Electronic Resources > Electronic Resources: Types A-Z > Statistics and Numeric Data

Easy to use:  Statistical Abstract

More comprehensive, more complex:  Lexis-Nexis Statistical

Ask for assistance!

Getting Help

Other ways to get help:  in person, by e-mail, using specialized chat services

And of course:  e-mail Corliss or email Theresa (Bancroft Library)

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