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ENGL 1212: First-Year Writing, The Americas (Watson)

This guide supports both sections of the First Year Writing Course: The Americas

Finding Scholarly Sources

Finding scholarly sources

  • Use encyclopedias to find articles: Encyclopedias contain bibliographies, which can help you track down important and reliable sources to use and cite in your research. Encyclopedias are also useful for finding names of scholars on a particular topic, and can be an excellent source for keywords for your searches.
  • Use relevant scholarly articles to find related scholarly articles: When you find an article that applies to the core of your topic, it's useful to look at the footnotes and bibliography to find additional sources for your research. 
  • Search academic databases: I have listed a number of relevant academic databases to use in your searching. Each of these contains a huge number of scholarly articles. Databases like Google Scholar, Proquest and EbscoHost are quite broad in their focus, while others like Black Studies Center and Hapi Online have targeted and sometimes unique coverage. It is sometimes best to start with a larger database to get a feel for what is out there, and moved to smaller and more targeted databases to refine your searching.

General Scholarly Journal Databases

Topic Databases for The Americas

Connecting Google Scholar to Columbia's Databases

Steps to connect Google Scholar with Columbia's Databases

  • Go to 
  • Click on the 3 horizontal bars in the upper left-hand corner
  • Click on "Settings" 
  • Click on "Library Links" in the left-hand menu
  • Search for Columbia University and select "Columbia University in the City of New York - Columbia e-link >>"
  • Hit Save
  • Click the "Columbia e-link >>" to access full-text links to Columbia University Libraries' journal subscriptions.  

Google Scholar mainpage

Menu with settings

Library Links selection

Menu showing Columbia University e-link selection