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Adams State University
Nielsen Library

ENG 328 - MacWilliams

Use this guide to find scholarly sources, book reviews and other information about your chosen nonfiction piece.


Geoff Johnson



Subjects: Communication, English, Psychology, Sociology, Theater


When searching for information on your book in library databases, you'll use keyword searching. This is different from natural language searching (like in Google, where you can type in a whole sentence and Google does a pretty good job of interpreting what you mean).

  • For one, databases are pretty literal and spelling titles and names correctly is a must. If I search for "Peter Mathieson" but I'm really looking for the author Peter Matthiessen, the database will tell me it doesn't have anything, even if there is a lot of stuff on Peter Matthiessen (spelled correctly).
  • In additional to the title of your book, you'll probably want to search for the author's name. This is especially true in the case of a book like In Cold Blood. "In cold blood" is a pretty common phrase in the English language, so if you just search for that, you might end up with a lot of results on murder and such.
  • If the author's name is not all that common, probably just the last name is sufficient. If it's a common last name (like Walker), you'll probably want to include the full name.

Looking for reviews and articles about John Krakauer's Into the Wild: 

  • start out typing "into the wild" into the database (using quotes searches for the title as a phrase: those words/that order)
    •  if that brings back a lot of results that don't pertain specifically to the book: 
  • then add krakauer 
    • if that somehow doesn't also expand that to john krakauer