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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

SW 200 Introduction to Social Work: Finding Journal Articles

This research guide will point you toward print/online research resources and strategies available to you for your Research Paper Assignment in SW 200

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Jaimie Beth Colvin
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Useful Databases

Getting Started

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias (Online)

Data Sources

U.S. Census Bureau Home Page

FedStats The gateway to statistics from over 100 U.S. Federal agencies.

General Social Survey Data and Information Retrieval System (GSS-DIRS) The GSS is widely regarded as the single best source of data on societal trends.

Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research The world's largest archive of digital social science data.

National Opinion Research Center (NORC)

Roper Center for Public Opinion Research One of the world's leading archives of social science data, specializing in data from surveys of public opinion.

Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research, Internet Data Sources for Social Scientists An informal list of sites that CISER staff have found useful.

Bureau of Justice Statistics Includes statistics about: crime & victims, prosecution, federal justice system, criminal offenders, law enforcement, and more.

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data Provides criminological and criminal justice data collections on specific topics.

National Institute on Aging Conducts research on aging processes, age-related diseases, and special problems and needs of the aged.

AARP Research Center Features authoritative information on issues affecting the 50+ population.

News

Editorial: an article in a newspaper presenting the opinion of the editor(s) so it does not receive a byline because it represents the opinion of the newspaper.

  • Purpose: To give opinions on current issues and events, written by the editorial board.
  • How to find editorials in library databases: use the advanced search and look for "Editorial" as a document or article type limit or look for the limit after doing a search.

Op-ed: (or “opposite editorial”) are articles devoted to commentary, feature articles, and opinions. Authors are not officially affiliated with the newspaper and can range from state legislators to local business owners and interested local citizens. Op-eds must be approved by the editorial page or opinion page editor and will also be cleared by a copy editor.

  • Purpose: To discuss and provide arguments on issues of relevance to the readers of the newspaper, written by named authors not associated with the newspaper's editorial board.
  • How to Find: In online databases, search for keywords related to the topic and look for document type limit: Commentary.

Letter to the Editor: usually written in direct response to an article, editorial, op-ed, or column that the paper has printed. They can also be a reaction to or notification of a newsworthy event. They are printed on the editorial page.

  • Purpose: To provide reactions from readers to the content of the newspaper.
  • How to find: In online databases, search for keywords related to the topic and look for document type limit: Letters.

Column: A single article containing the author’s opinion

 

News Story:  a news report of any length, usually presented in a straightforward style and without editorial comment. Most often written in the inverted pyramid style, with summary lead.

 

Featured Story: a story that is written to inform, but also to entertain. A feature article builds upon the interests of the audience and can be written more creatively than traditional inverted pyramid formatting. These stories focus on people and what they like to do, where they live, what they eat, what entertains them; the sky's the limit as long as it interests the audience.

 

News Analysis: More and more frequently, you’ll see newspapers such as The New York Times printing pieces that are not quite news articles, not quite editorials and not quite features. They go into more depth than a straight news article, described above, typically would, offering an analysis of events and how it might affect the surrounding area. Pieces like this require a great deal of knowledge about the event, the area in which it takes place and the people involved, and thus are usually written by more experienced reporters who specialize in covering certain areas or topics.


Press Release: written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy. Typically, they are sent to the assignment editors.