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SSCI 301: Introduction to the Social Sciences (Fall 2022) (Professor Weigt)

Scholarly Journal Articles


How do we know a source we've found is a scholarly journal article? Look for these clues:

  • written by scholars (with affiliations to universities or research institutions)
  • written for other scholars and students (and therefore difficult to read)
  • published in an academic journal with a peer-review process
    • Here are some examples:
      • The American Political Science Review
      • Political Science Quarterly
      • International Journal of Politics, Culture, & Society
      • International Journal of Politics and Security
  • structured format (from A Political Science Guide):
    • (ex. introduction, theoretical framework/literature review, case study, conclusion)
  • extensive references at the end

Most Useful

Also Useful

Tips Examples

Use keywords, not long search phrases


Instead of searching for "How does economic inequality and systemic racism affect the  American food system?" break down your search into the main keywords:

   economic inequality, systemic racism, food system, America

To get more focused results:

  • Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together
  • Use AND to combine different keywords
   "food system" AND "economic inequality"
  • To get broader results:
    • Use OR to combine similar/associated keywords
    • Truncate words that have a variety of endings with *    

   ("racial bias" OR discrimination) AND ("food desert" OR "food system")


   racis* = racism, racist 

Look for ways to limit your search in the database

You can often limit by type of article (scholarly and peer-reviewed) & year of publication