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ENGL 2A: Documentaries in Context (Pfeiffer): Scholarly Articles (Session 2)

Class guide for ENGL 2A, Spring 2023

ENGL 2A Exploratory Essay Library Workshop

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What is a scholarly article?

Ice Breaker - What's Your Topic?

Grab a Post-it and answer two questions:

  1. Which documentary did you pick?
  2. What topic/theme about the documentary are you thinking about researching for your exploratory essay?

Slap it on the whiteboard!

Workshop Goals Today

Welcome! In the workshop today, you will have the opportunity to:

  1. Explore library databases that provide you with peer-reviewed (academic/scholarly) articles
  2. Practice summarizing and citing scholarly articles

It's Critical: Access Peer Reviewed Information Through the Library

Library-provided databases are part of that 90% of information found only in the deep web.

The SCU Library subscribes to hundreds of these databases that are hidden in the deep web.

You have three options to access these databases:

  1. Use the library's website to access the list of databases and select one to enter and search within (see image below indicating where to navigate)
  2. Click the direct link to the databases page to access the list and pick one
  3. Use the curated list of databases on this research guide's articles tab to pick a database, enter it, and search

On the library's website, select the 4th tab titled, databases

Example 1

Ferrarello, Susi. "Am I Obsessed Or In Love?" Psychology Today, 29 April 2023,

Popular or scholarly? Why?

Example 2

Heller, Hadas, et al. “Outcomes and Complications of 33 Soft-Milled Cobalt-Chromium-Ceramic Full-Arch Screw-Retained Implant-Supported Prostheses: A Retrospective Study with up to 10-Year Follow-Up.” Journal of Functional Biomaterials, vol. 14, no. 3, Mar. 2023, p. 157-167. EBSCOhost,

Popular or scholarly? Why?


The Internet's Own Boy

Clips from The Internet's Own Boy: 

The Story of Aaron Swartz (2014)

Activity: Articles for Exploratory Essay

Step 1 - Jot down keywords for your topic. This helps keep you focused

Step 2 - Pick a database 

A few options:

1) Find one on the Databases tab of the Library’s website

Navigate to the Databases tab

Browse By Title or Browse by Subject  

2) Select a database from the list of databases below

Step 3 - Start searching


Select Advanced Search 

Use your keywords and other narrowing strategies 

Step 3 - Record your articles

Fill out this Google Form. You will receive a copy of the form in your email.

Click here.


Example Search Strategy


The following databases are good places to start looking for research papers.  To get tips on searching databases and finding articles, go to the Searching Tips tab.

Multidisciplinary Databases
Arts & Humanities Databases
Social Sciences & Business Databases
Ethnic Studies & Gender Studies
Psychology Databases
Browsing By Subject

To browse all SCU databases by subject, visit the Databases By Subject page.