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ENG W231: Professional Writing Skills

Choosing a database for your topic

Selecting Databases

Below are suggested databases grouped by subject area as well as other subject guides. Don't limit yourself to one database or you will miss articles in other journals. Explore and experiment, mix and match! Some additional subject guides, which include lists of databases related to specific fields of study, are included below, but all can be found at the following link:

Be aware: Suggested topics below do NOT automatically translate to be the best keywords for your search. Also, databases do NOT work like Google. In order to learn how to search these databases, check out the other pages in this guide.

 

INTERDISCIPLINARY DATABASES

These databases are good starting places for all topics and subject areas:

 

BUSINESS DATABASES

Choose one of these databases if your topic relates to:

hiring employees
marketing a product or service
staff training
customer relations
reducing theft
employee retention 
improving communication among staff

Business Guide

 

MEDICAL DATABASES

Chose one of these databases if your topic relates to health or medical topics:

 

EDUCATION DATABASES

If your topic relates to educational topics like these, choose one of these databases:

student retention 
student involvement or engagement
student government or organizations
membership campaigns 
student participation
student life

 

SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DATABASES

If your topic is related to social or political issues, choose one of these databases:

 

ATHLETICS DATABASES

If your topic relates to student athletics, try these databases below and also see education-related databases above.

 

PHILANTHROPY DATABASES

If your topic relates to one of the following topics, choose a database below:

volunteers 
fund raising
nonprofit organizations

Finding the Full-Text of an Article

Understanding LC Call Numbers

What exactly is a call number anyway?
A call number is the unique number given to each book in the library. Call numbers are like addresses, they tell you where a book will be located in the library.

Why should I know how to read one?
If you understand how to read a call number, it will be a lot easier for you to find books in the library.

What does a call number look like?
This library uses LC call numbers (LC stands for Library of Congress), which use a combination of letters and numbers. The same exact call number can be written 2 different ways:

A call number that you find in IUCAT (the online library catalog) will look like this:
CT105 .K55 1981

And that same call number will look like this on the spine of the book:
CT
105
.K55
1981
 
So, here's how you read a call number on the spine of a book:
CT        --Read it alphabetically (A, B, C, CT, D, E, F, G, H, HA, HQ, etc.)
105       --Read it numerically (1, 10, 100, 100.5, 105, 1005.10, etc.)
.K55     --Read alphabetically and then decimally (.A23, .A233, .A33, .B4555, .B50, etc.)
1981     --The final line is a date.
 
And here is how this book would be placed on the shelf:

CT
104
.P281
1930
CT
104
.P7
1830
CT
105
.H866
1995 
CT
105
.K55
1981 
D
105
.H43
1992

 

So now that I know how to read a call number, how do I use it to find books in the library?

  1. When you find a book that looks interesting in IUCAT, make sure you write down the entire call number.
  2. Check the location code to find out in what library the book will be (IUCAT contains books from all IU libraries).
  3. Look at the first letter(s) of the call number. Use this to figure out what part of the library to go to. Once you are on the correct floor, look for labels at the end of each set of bookshelves. These will tell you what call numbers can be found on those shelves.
  4. Find the book on the shelf and take it to the Service & Information Desk (2nd Floor) to check it out.