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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.


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