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ENWR 2640: Writing as Technology

Research guide for students in Patricia Sullivan's Spring 2024 ENWR 2640 class.

Library Research

This guide was created to help you prepare for your short research assignment and lightning talk on your chosen writing technology. 

In preparation for your assignment, which requires research, you have hopefully begun to think of possible questions to start your inquiry. You will also want to spend some time thinking about how you will conduct your research. 

  • Fine-tune your searches.
    Think broadly when brainstorming search terms. What synonyms or related terms could stand in for your key search terms? If it helps, use the UVA Library Online Thinking Tool to help you think through concepts related to your question/topic.
    You can combine search terms using AND ("generative AI" AND education) and OR (education OR instruction OR schooling). In many databases, the asterisk (*) is a truncation or "wildcard" symbol  that will match all possible endings for a word stem.  For example, art* will match art, artificial, artificially, arthritis, artifacts, etc. 
    Most databases have filters or facets that allow you to narrow your results by subject, date range, etc. Limit your searches to help you find the sources you need. 

  • Think about where you might find the type of information you are seeking.
    Will you find the research you need in an e-book? A journal article? A magazine? A newspaper? An interview? Cast a wide net when looking for the types of resources that could help answer your research question or support an argument you are making. 

  • Know the difference between academic and non-academic sources, and when it's appropriate to use them.
    Most databases allow you to limit results to academic/scholarly/peer-reviewed sources. Be mindful of your assignment and what you're being asked to provide. Need a refresher? Watch the short video Peer Review in 3 Minutes.

  • When you find a good source, use it to find other good sources. 
    Use the subject terms and keywords associated with an article or essay to find other articles and essays on similar topics. Scholarly essays and journal articles will have works cited, bibliographies, or footnotes you can mine for additional resources. 

Need help? Ask a librarian.  

Finding articles

Example Databases for researching Writing Technologies (See an A-Z list of all databases

Communication & Mass Media Complete provides coverage of journals in communication, mass media, and other closely-related fields of study.

MLA International Bibliography (MLAIB) indexes the broadest range of resources about literature and writing in all languages as well as film, television, and popular culture, including over 4,000 journals as well as books and dissertations. For articles not available full-text in MLA, click on “Find article @ UVa Libraries,” or look up the journal title in Virgo, the library catalog.

Education Full Text allows you to search for articles and reviews from English-language periodicals and yearbooks about all aspects of education. From 1994 has abstracts, from 1996 has full text of major articles from selected journals. 

Scopus is an abstract and citation database that indexes content from more than 25,000 active titles and 7,000 publishers—all rigorously vetted and selected by an independent review board. Highly recommend for research related to science or technology, although it covers much more than just these areas.

Academic Search Complete is a large general database of articles from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers on many topics

CQ Researcher provides in-depth In depth reports on selected issues in the news with lists of recommended books and articles. Good for current news topics like the regulation of AI or generative AI and copyright. Be sure to check the dates of articles - if it's an article on AI you probably want it to be from the last couple of years! 

Google Scholar is useful for finding scholarly articles, books, and websites. It can also be useful for seeing who has cited an article or essay after it was published. 

Finding book essays & articles using Virgo

Virgo, the UVA Library’s primary search tool, contains catalog records for books, print journals, DVDs, maps, and digitized materials, as well as links to online articles from our rich array of subscription journals. You can search catalog materials and articles together, or view those results separately, using the facets provided to limit your results by author, format, publication period, and more.  To find online content, use Filter Results By (on the left) and choose Online.

Example subject terms of possible interest: 

Example Print Books and E-Books of Interest