Below are some key databases for locating research articles in the field of literature.
The databases below, which contain a lot of background articles (encyclopedia and biographical articles), also contain full research articles.
Since research articles are written on very specific topics, try to be specific with your search terms to focus your search results. Think of talking to a database as talking to a three-year-old. Just like a three-year-old, the database needs explicit instructions.
To best accomplish this, there are some key conventions to use when searching in databases:
(1) Nest related terms in parenthesis, using "OR" between them. This tells the database to look for any of those terms
ex. (norms OR ethics OR values)
(2) Put phrases (search terms of more than one word) in quotation marks. This tells the database to look for that exact phrase.
ex. "social class"
(3) Link nested sets of related terms with AND. This tells the database to look for sources that have at least one term from each set.
ex. (norms OR ethics OR values) AND ("social class" or "socioeconomic status")