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ENG 060 - Poverty, Wealth, and Work in the United States - Spring 2022

The ENG060 course guide provides help on using the library and resources for the research project on the theme Poverty, Wealth, and Work in the United States.

Recommended Databases

Magazine Articles

Opinions & Controversial Topics

Newspapers 

About Databases

What is a Database?

A database is a collection of articles which are accessible online, but which (in most cases) first appeared in print sources such as scholarly journals, magazines written for the general public, or newspapers.  The articles have been placed online so that they can be easily searched and accessed.

A database normally lets you search for articles in a variety of ways, including by keyword, subject or author.  Some of the articles you retrieve will in actuality only be article abstracts, or summaries.  Other articles will appear in full-text form, meaning the entire article is available to you.  Most databases have a full-text option you can choose so that only full-text articles will appear in your search results.

For a short overview of databases, check out this 4 minute video.

You can also go to an alphabetical listing of all the databases offered by STLCC Libraries.

About Articles

Articles are generally shorter than books and usually focus on more specific topics. Articles published in different types of sources serve different purposes and are written with specific audiences in mind. Some library databases include articles from many of the following types of sources. Other databases are specialized by subject area or by type of source. 

Magazines

Magazines are written for a general audience, although they may have a specific subject area. They are usually published weekly or monthly. Articles can range from brief news items to more in-depth thoughtful analysis and commentary. 

Newspapers

Newspapers are usually published daily or weekly. They are good sources for the latest news about current events. Most newspapers have a separate editorial or opinion section (often abbreviated Op-Ed), which can be useful for finding different points of view. Newspapers often have a local focus on the city or region where they are published.

Journals

Journals can be highly technical in language and concepts and are about the latest findings in a field. They often include original research and are written by scholars, scientists, or other experts. Many journal articles are peer-reviewed, meaning they have undergone rigorous evaluation by a panel of other scholars or researchers. 

Trade or Professional Publications

Trade or professional publications fall in between the technical level of journals and magazines. They typically include articles of interest to people in a particular trade, profession, or industry. 

Use Search It!

Search It! is a search tool (discovery service) that searches many sources simultaneously. 

You will find books, ebooks, videos, articles, and links to databases or library guides. Get the most out of Search It! by using the limits listed under Refine Results in the left side menu.

Keyword & Subject Searching

Keyword Searching

Keyword searching is used by internet search engines, databases, and the library catalog. Keep in mind that the search will find matches for specific words, not concepts. The default in the library catalog (and most databases) is find results that include every word in your search. Think of this as using AND between the words. Actually typing the command AND to combine terms is good practice. 

  • poverty AND children AND United States
  • income AND equality AND United States
  • workplace AND women AND equality
  • minimum wage AND debate
  • student debt AND economic impact

The two searches above are the same, and will find all books in the library catalog that have all four words in the description of the book. 

If you want to find a specific phrase, with the words next to each other in order, use double quotation marks around the phrase:

  • "home ownership"  
  • "income gap"

You might want to broaden your search to include synonyms or other related words. To find either of two words or phrases, use OR between them:

  • wages OR income
  • poverty OR poor

You can also use truncation to search for different forms of a word. The asterisk * is used in the library catalog and many databases for this. 

  • work* AND (teen* OR adolescent*)
  • child* AND (school* OR education) AND (poor OR poverty) AND united states

For example, in the above search, work* will find the words work, workers, working, workplace, works, etc.

When combining searches, use parentheses ( ) around different parts of the search, as in the examples above that groups synonyms. 

Subject Heading Searching

Think of subject headings as labels or tags that someone has used to identify the subject of a book or article. The subject headings are standardized so that only one term is used for a specific subject. Sometimes these subject headings are not the obvious word for the topic. You can search directly by subject heading, or click on a subject heading in the description of a book you find by keyword searching. Sometimes this gets you a list of subject headings to choose from before you see a list of search results. Here are a few examples from the Classic Catalog:

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000