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Critical Writing Program: Writing by the Numb3rs: Overview

Multidisciplinary Databases

These databases will help you find scholarly articles about your topic

Subject-Specific Databases

Why use this guide?

This Critical Writing Program guide will help you to:

  • Read a citation
  • Find books and articles using citations and keywords
  • Choose the best scholarly resources for your topic
  • Get personalized assistance!

How to Read a Citation

Book citations generally show a publisher and a city of publication. Book chapters will include the title of the chapter as well as the name of the book.

Article citations have a journal/periodical title in addition to the article title. They will usually also show a volume and issue number, and may show a day and month.

Using Citations to Find Articles

If you have a complete article citation, search Articles+ to find the full text of your article.

No luck? That doesn't mean we don't have access to the article - it could be in print! Try using the PennText Article Finder as a next step. You can find PennText on the Library homepage.

To find the full-text of an article, enter the journal name into the PennText article finder. A pop-up box will give you options to access the article online, in print, or the option to request through interlibrary loan.

Using Citations to Find Books


If your citation is a book, use Franklin, the Library catalog. Franklin will help you find the library in which the book is located, and the call number.

You can search for a specific book by title, author, or ISBN. You can also do a keyword or subject keyword search to find books on a particular topic.

Keyword Searching

This document suggests a good method of crafting effective keyword searches:

Information Literacy Librarian

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Background Resources

These resources provide contextual information.