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ENC 1101 (Ermel): Sources

A guide to connect Professor Ermel's Comp I students to library resources and services.

How to Find Databases

Follow these steps to get to the library's online resources:

1. Log in to Atlas.

2. Click the "Search the Library" link. You will then be brought to the home page to search for sources. 

3. Know the name of the database you're looking for? Click the red Databases A-Z button. 

Don't know the name of the database? Click the red Databases by Subject button.

Are you being asked to log in with a Borrower's ID and PIN? 

  • Borrower's ID is your Valencia ID (VID) # which is found on your student ID or Atlas account
  • Borrower's PIN is the last four digits of your VID

Backward Citation Chaining

Another strategy to help you find sources is by using backward citation chaining. This process involves looking at a source's references to see where they got their information from. It can help you locate other sources that relate to your topic. 


You must use at least 2 scholarly sources for your assignment from 2 different databases


JSTOR logo that connects users to JSTOR database when clicked

JSTOR has journal articles and books from the humanities, social sciences, sciences, literature, and more.


Project Muse logo which takes users to Project Muse database when they click on it

Project MUSE provides scholarly sources (such as books and journal articles) in the humanities and social sciences. 


Academic Search Complete logo which takes users to database when they click on it

Academic Search Complete is a general database that covers multiple disciplines. Find scholarly sources from here and other EBSCO databases in one stop!


Google Scholar

Google Scholar logo that takes users to website when they click on it

Click Settings in the left hand menu, then click Library Links, then type in Valencia College to search for materials that you have access to. 

Keeping up with the Keywords

Did you know there is a special way to search in the databases? Searching like you would in Google isn't the way to go for databases. Pulling key words from your research question will help you get more precise results. Let's look at an example of a research question with the key words in bold.

What are the effects of consuming caffeine on a daily basis?

You typed in each key word into its own search box, but you didn't get the results you were hoping for. You might have to think of different key words to search with. Brainstorming or using a thesaurus is a great way to come up with more key words:

Effects Caffeine Consume Daily
Impacts Stimulant Ingest Everyday
Consequences Energy drink Intake


When searching in databases, there is usually an option to search using ANDOR, & NOT. How do these words impact your searches?

Venn Diagram chart that shows how Boolean operators work. Click chart to link to actual image.

The truncation (*) tool can also help you when you search. This allows you to search for the root of a word that might have different endings.

By searching legal*, I can get results that talk about legal, legalizing, legalization, legalities, etc.