Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

SSI2-124: Utopia/Dystopia: Finding Scholarly Articles

What's a secondary source?

In secondary sources, authors analyze and interpret primary source materials. 

Secondary sources can be scholarly or popular.  Scholarly sources (sometimes called "academic" or "peer-reviewed" sources) are written by and for experts and typically include bibliographies and citations.  Popular sources are written for a general, non-expert audience and can be authored by anyone.

Subject Databases

Subject databases are an integral part of the academic research process.  They focus on the scholarly output in a specific academic discipline or topic area.

Multidisciplinary Databases

The databases listed below are examples of multidisciplinary databases.  These can be especially good discovery tools when you aren't which academic disciplines are writing about your topic.

Database Search Tips

Always use the advanced search interface and some combination of the following techniques to increase the effectiveness of your searches:

Search Technique   What It Does
quotation marks Searches for exact phrase
Truncation (usually an *) Searches for all forms of a word
Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) Lets you broaden or narrow your search
Database thesaurus or index             Allows you to pinpoint the exact indexing terms the database uses

But I can't find anything EXACTLY on my topic!

     This is a GOOD thing!  It means that you have a wonderful opportunity to contribute an original argument to the world of ideas.  You'll need to undertake research creatively with related ideas and concepts.