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ENG 111: College Composition I (Pool-Loudoun)

Direct comments to Michael English,

Formatting Keywords

When typing words into database search boxes, you want to be as precise as possible. Think of talking to a database as talking to a two-year-old. Just like a two-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. ("Covid 19" or coronavirus or pandemic)

(2) Put phrases (search terms of more than one word) in quotation marks. This tells the database to look for that exact phrase.

     ex. ("amusement parks" OR "movie theaters" OR concerts)

(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. ("Covid 19" or coronavirus or pandemic) AND ("amusement parks" OR "movie theaters" OR concerts)

Locating Articles

Listed below are some general and some subject-specific databases. You may also go to our NOVA Libraries homepage and look under Databases by Subject to find a listing of subject specific databases.  

Remember not to write sentences in the search box. Review the information in the "Creating Search Statements" section for tips on searching efficiently. 

Article Databases


While some of the above include newspaper articles, the below databases are particularly helpful for locating this type of source: