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Journalism & Media Studies

Presentation from class

Links & handouts used in class


screenshot of the interactive Anatomy of a Scholarly Article website

Do scholarly articles mystify you? Click around this interactive website from the North Carolina State University Libraries to explore the structure of many scholarly articles and learn some of the things you can expect to find in when looking at scholarly sources:‚Äč

Reading Scholarly/ Peer Reviewed Articles Strategies

You don’t have to read the entire article in order!

FIRST- Read the Abstract

If the Abstract fits within the scope of your research, read more. If it doesn't, don't bother reading the article.

NEXT- Jump down to the Discussion & Conclusions

This is the essential part of the article; it will tell you what the researchers learned.

THEN- Read the Introduction & Literature review

This will give you background and context.

FINALLY- Read the other sections.

TIP: Don’t forget to look at the References at the end. They can be helpful for building your own bibliography.

Take notes as you go. If you find a quote, write it down with the author's last name and page number that it came from. 

Think critically as you read:

  • What is already known about the this topic?
  • Do you agree with what the author is saying?
  • Does what the author says agree with other information you have found on this topic?

Check, Please! Starter Course


Check, Please! Starter Course teaches the SIFT (The Four Moves), a set of strategies that students could use on the web to evaluate their sources. 

Check, Please website homepage

Simple strategy for finding information

Here is a summary of what we practiced during the class session.

Step 1: Construct a search strategy.

  • State your question as a sentence.
  • Identify key concepts that must be present in the information source; use the connector AND.
  • Consider related terms that might be used for a key concept; use the connector OR
  • Use truncation symbol for word variations; use an (asterisk) or most databases; Lexis/Nexis uses  ! (exclamation mark).
  • Use “ “ (double quotation) for phrases. Don’t overuse phrase searching. Consider proximity connectors for phrase variation: n# or w#.

Step 2: Determine the type of information you need and where you might find it.

Available through the library. Use OneSearch or the library databases to locate:

  • Books

    Historical, scholarly, research, summary and in-depth 
  • Journals

    Scholarly, research, in-depth, bibliography
  • Government Publications

    Research, primary, statistics
  • Magazines

    Current, popular culture, opinions, summary
  • Journals

    Scholarly, research, in-depth, bibliography
  • Newspapers

    Current events, popular, opinions
  • Trade/Professional

    Practitioner perspective, trends, products, technique

Available in library databases  (Not found in OneSearch) 

  • Data resources including country, industry, and company reports
  • Case law and legal information
  • Tests and Measures, and research methodology
  • Images and videos

Use Internet search tool (Google, Bing, etc.)


  • Current, expert and popular opinion

Use Google Scholar

  • Journals- Scholarly, research, in-depth, bibliography

Step 3: Evaluate your information using the 5W + 1H model.  

Understanding APA Citations Tutorial

Button to start Understanding APA Citations tutorial

How to get help

If you need immediate assistance, check the Ask Us 24/7 link.

Good luck on your research project!