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English: Scholarly/Academic Sources

This guide is designed to help students and faculty access credible resources related to the study of English

Scholarly/Academic Sources

Scholarly or academic sources have often gone through a peer review process and are considered by most to be very trustworthy sources. They aren't the best source for current information (use news sources for that) and the quality can vary (as with any other source, examine it closely!) but there's scholarly research out there on almost any topic.

For scholarly sources on your topic, consider checking the following sources/databases:

  • OneSearch
  • Journals
  • LibGuides (Library Research Guides)

More information and links are available below.


Find scholarly sources from many disciplines in OneSearch, the main search box on the library website.

Use the "Academic Journals" limiter to find only scholarly/academic sources. You can also use the "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed)" limiter.


You can go directly to scholarly journals from our two main vendors using the links below. This strategy works if you like to browse through tables of contents or search directly within specific journals.

LibGuides (Library Research Guides)

If OneSearch is too broad and finding specific journals is too narrow, this option may be just right for you... use our libguides to find subject-specific databases related to your topic. 


  • The Psychology guide would help if you were researching a topic related to human behavior like mental health or suicide prevention
  • The Political Science guide would help if you are exploring voter rights or electoral college issues

Not sure which guide to pick? Contact a librarian using the chat box at the bottom of the page! Tell us your topic and we'll give you ideas of the best places to look.

Understanding Scholarly Articles

Top five tips for understanding a scholarly article:

  1. Look at the subject terms/headings "tagged" on each article to identify the main ideas of the article before you even read it!
  2. Read the Abstract or Summary first to ensure relevance.
  3. Jump around the article- Abstract, Methods, Results, Discussion... you won't spoil the ending! If these sections are helpful to you, then read it more closely start to finish. (See video below for more on this reading strategy.)
  4. Take notes and look up words you don't know.
  5. After reading the article and reviewing your notes, write down a 200-ish word summary in your own words- don't use quotations from the article! Ask yourself: What did they study? How did they study it? What did they find?

Bonus tip:

Use the references or works cited to find other sources related to your topic!

Librarian Chat