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English Composition: Find Articles

A guide to resources on English Composition

Finding Articles: A Quick Start Guide

Find Articles: Video Tutorials

Saving Research in Library Databases

Phrase Searching

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The key to searching databases is to try different combinations of search terms. Phrase searching is one technique you can use to refine your search. To initiate a phrase search, enclose phrases inside quotation marks or parentheses.  This tells the database to search the phrase as a unit instead of a string of keywords.

For example:

"organic farming"

(organic farming)


Articles may be found within the library's databases.  The CSU Library has several general databases which cover a wide range of subjects and academic disciplines that may be helpful for research in English Composition:

Academic Search Ultimate

This extensive database includes materials on most academic disciplines, and thousands of the publications are peer-reviewed journals. It is a good research option for students in most degree programs and courses.


ACADEMIC ONEFILE provides peer-reviewed journals plus trade/professional publications, magazines, and other information sources that support a broad range of subjects and programs of study. Its content will be useful for students in most degree programs and courses.


The GENERAL ONEFILE database provides multi-disciplinary coverage in journals, periodicals and newspapers as well as searchable transcripts for various radio programs and video files. This database is a helpful resource for students in most CSU programs of study and courses.

Example Search

1.) Use keywords or key phrases instead of long sentences or copy/pasting the entire assignment prompt into the search. 

Example Assignment Prompt: Write an essay about the benefits of organic farming 

Keywords/Key Phrases:

  • "organic farming" 
  • benefits 
  • advantages 

Note: When using key phrases, place quotation marks around the phrases to search them as an exact unit of information. 


2.) Use Boolean Operators to break up your search. 

  • AND - Limits your search (fewer results) by combining search terms 
  • OR - Expands your search (more results) by including related terms 
  • NOT - Limits your search (fewer results) by excluding irrelevant keywords 


Developing Key Words for Database Searches

Developing Key Words Interactive Handout

Accessing Databases

Accessing the databases listed on this guide require you to first be logged into the myCSU Student Portal.

  • Ensure that you are logged into myCSU
  • Click on the desired database link, which should immediately direct you to the database interface.
  • If you have any questions, contact us 24 hours per day through our live Chat Service

Tech Tips

Having trouble accessing library resources? Refer to the Tech Tips document or contact CSU HelpDesk Support at 877-399-1063 or via chat in your myCSU Student Portal.