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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries

English 408: The Composition Process

Tips on Finding Articles


Dr. Torgerson has been very helpful here in giving you suggestions for keywords! Once you find relevant articles, note the subject headings/keywords used by the database to describe the article as well. (Except in JSTOR -- there aren't any database-supplied subject headings. There may be author-supplied keywords in or nearby the abstract.)

Be More Specific Than When Searching for Books

Don't be too general in your search terms. Articles, especially scholarly journal articles, are going to be focused on specific issues. Narrowing by grade level is also quite useful, since the studies are likely going to be focused only on middle school or high school level, etc.

Don't Assume the Articles in the Education Databases are Scholarly

Education Research Complete, ERIC and the ProQuest Education Journals databases are about 50/50 with magazines and journal articles. While you will want to use the limiter in the database, it is better to evaluate each article as to whether it is a research-based, scholarly article. (Some of the education journals will include non-scholarly articles, so just using the limiter sometimes doesn't work.)

  • Is the article research-based?
  • Are there references and a literature review?
  • Authority of the author(s)?


Article Databases

Core Journals

Below is a list of major composition journals. Clicking on the name of the journal will take you to the EWU Library Catalog record for the journal, as some are available online, some are in print, and some are both (depending on the date).

Core TESL Journals

These are some core peer-reviewed journals. The link takes you our catalog record for it, for online and print holdings. (Except for TESL-EJ - that goes to the online version.)

Find a Journal, Magazine, or Newspaper

Journal Search -- Alphabetical list of the journals, magazines and newspapers we have online in our databases, and/or we have at least a few issues in print or microfilm.

If we do not have the periodical you are looking for, you may request specific articles via Interlibrary Loan.

Find the Full Text of an Article Within a Database

When you are searching in one of the library databases and the article in question isn't available full text right there, look for the button or hyperlink that says EWU - Check for Full Text.

Clicking the Check for Full Text button/link in the databases brings up a screen like this...

screenshot of check for full text results

Step 1: If the article is available online, it will say Fulltext available at the top. (It looks like a hyperlink, but it is a link to take you to the page you're already on.) Under View It, you will see links to the databases that have the article. In the example above the article is available in American Chemical Society and ProQuest.

Step 2: If the article is not available full text, it will say Check availability. To see if we have it in print or microfilm, scroll down to Find in a Library. If we do have at least one issue of the source, the page will look like the image above. Note:

  • the years we have -- for the example below we have 1966 through 2010
  • the location -- EWU-Cheney Main Level Periodical
  • the call number of the source -- QD .J93

Step 3: If the article is not available full text, and we do not have it in print/microfilm, go back up to View It and click the link Request this article using Interlibrary Loan (in the middle under Can't find it? -- see image above). You will need to log in using your NetID/SSO. Verify that the fields were filled out correctly and click the red Submit Request button. Articles usually take 3-5 days. You will be notified via your EWU email that the article is available for you to download. (Directions are in the email.)