It is common at the college level for your professors to want you to use scholarly articles. Google can be a great way to get started, but be sure to try our library databases too. Many of them have tons of scholarly (or peer-reviewed) material, which means that those articles were reviewed by experts in the field before they were published.  They are often more narrow and in-depth than many websites.  Here are a few places to look for other types of articles that can deepen your understanding of a topic and impress your instructor (it’s a win-win): 

Academic Search Premier:  This library database is a great one to start with.  It has information on almost any topic:  from the impact of Snapchat to the environmental impact of biking to work to the latest cancer research.  It also has different types of articles, including scholarly, magazine and news.

Databases by Subject:  Click on the subject area that best encompasses your search need.  Pay special attention to the top three or four databases listed under the “Key Databases” heading.  For example, interested in the psychology of quitting smoking?  Try one of the databases listed under the psychology heading.


That said, some instructors may specify that they want you to use only scholarly, while others may be okay with other types of sources as long as you use them effectively.

Sometimes you may need a news article or magazine article because it’s most relevant.

Think critically about your audience, the assignment, and how you are going to use the information to make the best choice.

Still need help?  Ask us.