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FILA 150 Sustainability Class Guide

Before You Start Searching

Before you open one of the below databases, please checkout how to search in databases within the "Research Basics" tab. If you take the time to decide on a topic, create keywords, and use the database searching tools that will make the most sense for your assignment, you will find sources for your paper much more efficiently.

Looking for something in particular?:

At the very least, before entering a database, you should have brainstormed the keywords that you would like to search in the database. Searching a thesis statement exactly as it appears will not yield results in the same way as it would if you were searching within Google.

What is an Academic Source?

How do you know if a title is an academic source or a popular source? What is peer review?

An academic/scholarly resource:

  • Is generally written by faculty members, medical doctors, and scholars for the purpose of scholarship
  • Uses technical language that is not intended to be understand by the general populace, but rather an expert in the field in which it is published
  • Often will go through the peer-review process, which is intended to ensure the validity of the resource:

A popular resource:

  • Is ordinarily written by a professional journalist or writer, and is intended to be read by a general populace (rather than experts in the field)
  • Written in easily-understood language and cover broader topics
  • Are not evaluated by experts in the field
  • Lack a list of resources that were referenced by the author during the writing process

Useful Databases

Multidisciplinary Databases

Environmental Science Databases