Skip to Main Content

First Year Writing: Finding Sources

Boolean Basics

Booleans are little words you can use to link together multiple keywords.You can use them to create sophisticated string strings - questions that databases can easily understand!


AND links two words together. Using AND will give you fewer results than just 1 keyword.

Example: video games AND bullying

This would give you results that contain the phrases 'video games' and bullying'. 


OR looks for at least one of the keywords to appear somewhere in the results. Using OR will give you more results than 1 keyword would. 

Example: online dating OR dating apps

This would give you results that contains either 'online dating' or 'dating apps' - useful for when you're not sure how scholars will talk about a topic. 


Not will not include the keyword it's in front of. Using NOT will give you fewer results than just 1 keyword.

Example: social media NOT facebook. 

This would give you results that contain the 'social media', but none that also contain 'facebook'. 

A-Z Database List

Need to use a different kind of database? Check out the link to our A-Z database list below. 

You can also sort the list by Subject - like business, nursing or music - or by Type - like streaming video, ebooks, or primary sources. Use the drop down boxes to filter - they're near the top and look like this.


Finding Full Text

Sometimes a database will give you information about an article, but not access to the article itself. If you want the full article, there's a few ways to find it.

1. Check other databases. Clicking this blue Find Full Text at BU button lets you search our other 300+ databases for that article. Sometimes, the article is just a couple clicks away. 


2. Search Google Scholar. Occasionally you will find the full text of an article we don't have on Google Scholar. It's always worth a look. 

3. Use ILL. ILL, or interlibrary loan, is where the library gets a copy of the article from another library and sends it to you. It's very easy, and lets you gain access to a ton of information. Don't be afraid to use it!

Bunch Library Databases for Scholarly Articles

If you need some scholarly articles, you should use on of the library's databases. Not sure which database to use? Try one of these:

Bunch Library Databases for News

Newspapers can be helpful for finding information about an event. We have several newspaper databases available. Check out the links below to get started!

Finding Books

Books can be great sources for your paper. Need a quick intro to searching the Bunch Library's catalog for books? Check out this video.

If you're not on campus, you can find ebooks in the library too, through the use of some helpful filters.

Not on campus, and trying to find ebooks? The Bunch Library has many ebooks. 

You can use OneSearch to find ebooks. OneSearch is the Library's search engine, which you can use via the blue box on the Library's home page:

After you enter your keywords into the search bar, you can use the Tweak My Results column on the left side of the screen to find ebooks in the library.

Apply these filters to find ebooks:

  • Check Full Text Online under Availability (#1 on the image to the left) 
  • Check Books under Resource Type (#2 on the image)
  • Then hit the green Apply Filters button (#3 on the image)

The list of search results will now be all ebooks. If you need help or have any questions, don't be afraid to contact a librarian!