Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

EN 178B Introduction to Creative Writing (Arthurs): Library Guide

Instructor: Alexia Arthurs

Magazine & Newspaper Articles

MAGAZINES can provide popular perspectives or alternative voices.
The Atlantic

NEWSPAPERS can offer the most current information or show attitudes and feelings of a certain time. 

Find Articles in a Known Magazine or Newspaper

Want to see if Colby has a subscription to a particular magazine or journal?  On the Colby Libraries home page click on the "Journals and Articles" tab.  

Once the orange bar has moved down, enter the publication's name in the search box.

Note that Colby also has arrangements with the NEW YORK TIMES and the WALL STREET JOURNAL that enable Colby students to have their own FREE digital subscriptions to those publications. Sign up HERE.

MLA Citation Help

Older editions of the MLA handbook are also available. However, there were significant changes in the 2016 edition listed above. OWL uses the 2016 edition. 


OneSearch should only be used for very precise searches, such as:

  • Finding an known article by searching its title
  • Finding book reviews for a specific book
  • Finding articles or book chapters on lesser-known people or narrow topics

Use limiters!  E.g. journal articles, scholarly material, book chapters, book reviews

It's usually NOT good for searching broad topics. Instead use CBBcat or recommended databases.

 More than Words by alecska (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Scholarly Journal Articles

SCHOLARLY/ACADEMIC JOURNALS are made by and for scholars. Articles in peer-reviewed journals are particularly important. Some of your professors may require these sources in assignments.

Look for options in databases to limit your results to these types of articles.

Searching Tips in Databases & the Library Catalog


  • Experiment with different search combinations, using SYNONYMS and related terms.
  • Use an ASTERISK to stand in for multiple word endings: incarcerat* = incarcerate, incarcerated, incarceration 
  • Use QUOTATION MARKS to "glue together" a phrase: "social justice"
  • Use AND between terms to narrow results to items containing both terms: gender AND identit*
  • Using OR between items (within parenthesis) widens results: (freedom OR liberty)
  • Combine terms to build SEARCH STRINGS.


Find an item of interest using a keyword search? Look at its item record to identify SUBJECT TERMS These links group material  together by topic which can yield more precise results. Sample subject headings:

Note that searching a broad subject in CBBcat can lead to a further list of sub-divisions. These can be helpful in focusing your research.


Check the notes, references and bibliographies of every relevant article or book. You may discover more books and articles of interest.

Look for BOOK TITLES in CBBcat or MaineCat

Put ARTICLE TITLES in OneSearch or Google Scholar to get access to full-text. (Try just first part of title in quotes along with author's last name.)

Photo: The Look, Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Tips for Using Google

DO NOT USE TO FIND SCHOLARLY ARTICLES - Use library databases. However, Google, used carefully, can work wonderfully in discovering contemporary writing, alternative voices, the work of community organizations, and digital collections at archives, museums and academic institutions.

SEARCH PRECISELY - Beware of common words or words that have multiple meanings. Specify as much as possible, but also explore alternative phrasing. Start with small, focused searches. Use the names of known, trusted people to get recommendations of reliable online sites and publications. (Check newspaper databases for controversies.) Add terms that focus on the type of material desired. Examples: "digital collections", zine, "literary journal", "literary magazine", "oral histories"

USE ADVANCED SEARCH - On your Google search results page, click on Settings. Use supplied fields to carefully map term choices, specifying exact terms required. The "Site or Domain" field can be useful in limiting your results to government information (.gov) or items created at educational institutions (.edu). 

EVALUATE CAREFULLY - Do separate searches of source creators, authors and publications. Every source you interact with is a conversation. With whom are you talking? What are their values and motivations? Are they getting their information from reliable sources and interpreting evidence fairly and  intelligently? Who is the intended audience?

KNOW ITS LIMITATIONS - Most scholarly articles are either not found by search engines or are behind paywalls. Information is sorted and ranked according to commercial/consumer/popular considerations. Information is not vetted for accuracy or reliability.

Books, Films, Music

SEARCH our library catalog 

Digital Learning:

Look for a small circular red E in the icons to the left of your results . These are online resources. (E-books, streams, digital documents.)

Or use the drop-downs on the CBBcat search page, for a more precise search.

On Campus:

If you're on campus, there is still access to the Miller Library bookstacks and you can order books from Bixler, Olin, the Annex, Bates and Bowdoin by clicking CBB Request in an item record.

Enter your name and bar code number (omit beginning and ending letters) from your Student ID or Library Card. You will be notified when the books are available for pickup at Miller.

Course Librarian

Profile Photo
Laine Thielstrom

Contact me by email or chat (send me a Google Hangouts invite). Or let's talk about your research or information need on Google Meet or Zoom!

Reference Sources

  • Provide helpful overviews
  • Help you identify search terms
  • Allow topic exploration

Photo: Book by Lalena Jaramillo

Need to use these resources off campus?

For the most reliable access, install VPN (Virtual Private Network) on your computer or device.

Instructions are on the Colby VPN webpage:


Colby College on Twitter Colby College on Facebook Colby College on YouTube Colby College on Vimeo Colby College RSS Feed Search Previous Next