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Writing Center

Library resources to help students with any writing skills in their courses as well as reading skills.

magazinesAlso known as "Scholarly Articles," "Peer-Reviewed Articles," or "Academic Articles," these are:

  • Written and reviewed by scholars and provide new research, analysis, or information about a specific topic.
    • "Review" means the article is approved by other experts before publication
  • Usually focused on a narrow subject or a single case study
  • Intended for an academic audience

OneSearch

OneSearch is an all-encompassing search engine for locating articles in journals and ebooks.

General Databases 

These databases contain articles and ebooks on many topics.

Subject Specific Databases

These databases contain articles and ebooks for specific programs and subject areas.

Use the questions on the Questions to Ask When Determining Credibility of Sources handout to help you determine the credibility of websites. Check the information by comparing several websites on the same topic. Take a few facts from one article and confirm or disprove them with another credible source (Stebbins, 2015, pp. 22-23). Use the fact-checking websites on the News tab.

Useful tip: Government and military websites, whose URLs end in .gov, .mil, .state.us, or .state.gov, are credible sources of information. For more tips about using information from websites, watch the short NAU video below.

Stebbins, L.F. (2015). Finding Reliable Information Online. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Unlike journal articles, scholarly books:

  • Are written on a broader, general subject
  • May contain a collection of related chapters by different authors
  • Contain less recent information

Remember: you may only need to read one chapter of a scholarly book!

You can find many ebooks in the NAU Library databases:

In the left column of your search results page:

  • Limit by full text
  • Limit by source type - Books
  • Use the slide to limit by publication date

Avoid using Editorials or Letters to the Editor from print or online newspapers. These articles are "opinion pieces" and the authors may lack subject expertise.

Not sure if you are reading an Editorial or Letter to the Editor?  If it is an Ebsco database article, click on the title of the article. Scroll down to "Document Type."  Image by Luis Estrada from Pixabay

Use these reliable fact-checking and bias-checking websites for news articles and websites:

  • FactCheck.org (politics)

  • Snopes (urban legends, hoaxes, folklore, memes, and rumors)   

  • Climate Feedback (climate change)

  • AFP (choose news, world regions, topics - health, environment, science, politics)
                                                                                                        

Credible Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social media posts of "first-hand" accounts of current happenings, such as political rallies, strikes, protest, and entertainment events may be used as primary sources. These sources are analyzed by you, the writer (Coleman, 2013, p.60). Social media should not be used as expert analyses or interpretations to support your argument. Watch the short video to learn about using social media properly in assignments and papers.  

Sources:

Auraria Library (n.d.). Social media as a primary source. Retrieved from https://guides.auraria.edu/
       c.php?g=323480&p=2863867

Coleman, V. (2013, November/December). Social media as a primary source: A coming of age.
       Educause Review, 48(6), 60-61. Retrieved from
       https://er.educause.edu/articles/2013/12/social-media-as-a-primary-source-a-coming-of-age

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