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ENGL 100 Composition - Search Strategies for Everyone

Basic, detailed steps to research for all majors taking ENGL100/102 or any Composition-Based Course

Search Strategies Handout & More

MLA (and other) Style Citation Help

Databases for All Majors

To Learn More About a Journal - including Peer-Review

You can Google the journal title and look for the following information on its website:

  1. How difficult is it to submit an article to be reviewed & published in the journal? How long will the review process take?
  2. Who will review submitted articles? Google the people listed on the Editorial Board to learn about their level of expertise.

These elements help us determine who the "peers" are in the peer-reviewed process, if the journal has one.

If the journal does not have a clear structure to review articles published within it, or a clear list of people who will review articles for the journal, it may not have a strong review process. Show your professor what you find out to make sure the journal is useful for your assignment.

Useful Subject (your major) databases

Google Search Tips

Google & Google Scholar

Quick Tips

  • Want results that are only pdf files? Add to your search: filetype:pdf
  • Want only .gov websites? Add to your search:
  • Want only .edu websites? Similar tip:
  • Want to search within a website? Add the website to your search:


2 Free Citation Management Tools: EndNote Basic & Zotero

Can't think of a topic?

Useful Public Websites

Reference & Instructional Librarian

Alexis Pavenick's picture
Alexis Pavenick
Library, CSULB
Email is Best Contact

Library Instruction Surveys - Thank You

How to forward your CSULB Email

Using the CSULB Library Website

1. Chrome is the preferred browser for our Library website

2. Sign-In to MYCSULB first, before you start your searches. It will give you from the beginning all the access to the materials. > Menu > MyCSULB > Single Sign-On (SSO) > Beach ID & PW > Library Button 


Research takes patience, time, and organization.

  • Write down the names, ideas, and potentially useful keywords you have already.
  • Take notes as you go along to add to these lists.
    • Circle the most successful ones.
    • Keep citations in EndNote (start with a free account through our database Web of Science!)