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Academic Writing Process - Terre Haute: Research

Resources to make the writing process - from brainstorming to final citation and bibliography - as painless as possible.

Preferred Databases

The following databases are some of the most commonly used academic databases available from the Ivy Tech Library Website. See the boxes in the center column for instructions on locating and using these databases.

Academic Search Premier

multi-discipline collection of 4,500 source titles

Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition

500+ source titles with a focus on medical topics


publications of the American Psychological Association

Business Source Premier

2,500+ source titles related to business and the economy

Career and Technical Education

vocational and technical periodicals

Nursing Journals

fulltext articles from nursing and allied health publications

Research Library

2,600+ titles covering a range of disciplines

Additional Resources

If the academic databases available through the Ivy Tech Library do not provide enough information on your chosen topic, Google Scholar searches scholarly sources available freely online. This should not be a first choice for academic essays, as the articles may or may not be the preferred peer-reviewed type, but it is better than a general internet search.

Google Scholar Search

Conducting Academic Research

Your instructor assigned a term paper that requires using two or more "scholarly" sources. What does that mean? How do you find scholarly sources? Why can't you use newspapers, magazines, websites, etc.?

There are differing opinions on whether brainstorming should come first or if research should come first. In the case of essays, term papers, and other noncreative, academic writing, it is helpful to have as much information about your topic as possible before brainstorming how to write the paper.

If you have not chosen a topic, then brainstorming ideas would be followed by research, which in turn would be followed by additional brainstorming about the actual paper itself.

Accessing the Library Website

To access the Ivy Tech Library Website, click on the "Library" tab in Campus Connect.

Campus Connect screen shot

Within the Library tab, click anywhere in the foursquare section.

Next, click on the "Search & Find" section of the foursquare.

To access the academic databases available to Ivy Tech Students, click on "Articles". If you want to find books, click on "Books".

Search Phrases

When searching for a topic by keyword, it is helpful to use Boolean operators - words that help narrow or broaden your search. There are three primary Boolean operators, each used in capital letters in your search, that may help you.


Use when you have more than one search term and want all the words to be in the articles you look at

Example: nursing AND pediatric, when you only want to see articles about pediatric nursing


when you have more than one possible search term, and any of them would be acceptable

Example: asthma OR emphysema, when you want articles about chronic breathing illnesses but do not care which illness


Use when you have a broad search term but do not want to see articles about some topics that may fall under that category.

Example: nursing NOT pediatric, when you want to see articles about nursing care but not about working with children