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GH 101: Social Class Literature (Helwig): Finding Articles

Some key databases and sources

Research databases are collections of digitized articles, essays, reviews, books and other material. Some databases are subject specific, while others are more general in scope.

The following databases will help you track down information on current controversies and cultural media: 

Academic Search Complete

Academic Search Complete contains full-text articles and abstracts to over 8,500 journals, making it one of the library's largest general databases. You'll find articles of all types, on a range of controversial subjects.


This is another large, multi-disciplinary database. The Subject Guide Search is a good way to get started.


JSTOR has strong coverage of the humanities and social sciences, and it offers mostly full-text articles. It also has good historical coverage, although the most recent issues of journals may not be included.

SAGE Journals

This direct-from-the-publisher journal package contains full-text coverage in a variety of disciplines. This package is a good choice for the cultural media option. 

MLA International Bibliography

The MLA specializes in literature and language, but also contains a fair amount of media criticism. 

Communication and Mass Media Complete

CMMC contains coverage of the mass media and mass media analysis. Another good choice for the cultural media option.



Database search tactics

To find relevant articles in any library research database, you'll have to use some strategic tactics. These tactics will vary depending on what you're trying to find.



Tactic 1: Keyword search

In a keyword search, the database scans every article and every abstract and retrieves anything the contains the words and/or phrases you've typed into the search boxes.

Tactic 2: Subject search

Subject searching requires you to use specific search terms that have been assigned to articles in the database. Most articles have been indexed with a handful of these subject terms that best describe the topic of the article.