1. Choosing a Database

​​​​​Goals – by the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Select a broad or a narrow database based on your need
  • Select a database based on your subject of study
  • Select a database based on the type of resource you need
  • Use research guides to evaluate different databases


  • What is a Database?
  • Finding Databases
  • Broad Versus Focused Databases
  • Narrowing by Subject
  • Narrowing by Source Types
  • Practicing Selections
    1. Citing Sources: Plagiarism

Unintentional plagiarism is a serious problem for undergraduate students. Many students don’t know how to prevent it, even when they want to. Worse, even unintentional plagiarism can have serious consequences. Repeatedly plagiarizing unintentionally will be considered a more severe violation each time, with consequences that may include failing the course, probation, suspension, or even expulsion. But there is good news. Citing sources correctly and avoiding plagiarism are skills that can be improved with practice. This video from the University of Rhode Island Libraries explains in more detail why it is important to cite your sources: https://youtu.be/zK-IWcMztos

  1. Evaluating Online Sources through Lateral Reading: An Introduction

Audience – Essex County College students, faculty, and staff interested in strengthening their fact-checking and online source evaluation skills

Purpose – developing new strategies for evaluating online sources and improving one’s ability to investigate source credibility in order to recognize credible sources

Learning outcomes:

  • Be familiar approaches to evaluating online sources.
  • Recognize the importance of pausing when you have a strong emotional reaction to an information source in order to analyze sources more critically.
  • Apply approaches to completing an initial evaluation of a web source’s credibility.
    1. Finding Newspaper Articles

There is a lot of newspaper content available freely online, much of which is of high quality. However, many of the most credible newspapers provide only limited access to their online content, and a lot of historical content remains unavailable online. The Library can provide access to a great deal of the news content that isn’t offered freely.

Learning outcomes:

  • Search for newspaper articles from various newspaper publications.
  • Develop and refine search strategies in the Newspaper Search in order to find newspaper articles that are relevant to a given topic.
  • Locate a specific newspaper publication by using the Journal Finder in Library Search.
  • Locate newspaper databases and online resources that are starting points for your search.
    1. Search Terms and Strategies

You will need – a research topic or question

Goals – by the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Develop keywords for searching from your research topic or question
  • Analyze results of an initial search to determine how you might adjust your terms to make it more effective


  • Key Concepts
  • Variations
  • Creating Your Search
  • Practice Searching
  • Analyzing Your Results
  • Next Steps

Please see the Rowan University tutorial https://rowan.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_b7Ppr2MJgHot3G5