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Hackney Library

WRT 102: Composition II

Sample Search of "Academic Search Complete" Database for a Journal Article

Sample Search:

Topic:  Animal rights concerning the sport of horse racing

  • Search for horse racing in one box, and 
  • Search for animal rights in the second box:

This search returns 57 articles in magazines, journals, and newspapers.  Now limit this set to Full Text and limit to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals in the "Limit To" area, both in the left sidebar,  circled in yellow in the image below.  This removes any non-full-text articles in newspapers or magazines from your set, and retains the only 13 journal articles from peer-reviewed journals:

Now you have 13 full-text peer-reviewed journal articles in your results list.  Choose Article #6, "Flogging Tired Horses,"  and click on the title, circled in yellow below:

Now you are taken to a Detailed Record for this peer-reviewed journal article, which gives you more information about it:

  • The title of the journal article at the top (in the aqua square)
  • Authors:  The authors' names (this journal article has three); they are in the yellow square;
  • Source:  The title of the journal in which the article is published, plus the publication date, volume and issue numbers that correspond to that date, page numbers on which it appears in the journal, and other information (circled in green)
  • Subject Terms:  Terms that describe the content of the article (and can be clicked on to do a brand new search to find similar articles), in the red square


To see the full-text of the article, click on the PDF Full Text link in the left sidebar of the detailed record, circled in orange.  (The  PDF Full Text Link is preferable to the HTML link because you can see everything as it would appear in the print version, including charts, illustrations, etc.):

Here's a link (after you click on this link, click on the "PDF Full Text" link to get to the PDF of the article itself): 

When you are reading the article itself, you will notice several things:

  • It is relatively lengthy (although this article is only 10 pages long; some journal articles can run from 50 to 100+ pages!)
  • It has no color photos (typical of journal articles, unless it includes images of microscope slides or other items relevant to the research)
  • It is structured using headings like "introduction," "method," "results," "discussion," and "conclusions."  These clearly define the different parts of the discussion surrounding the research results reported in the journal.



  • There are several tables with raw data resulting from the outcomes of the research conducted.




  • There are quite a few references at the end of the article (which indicates it is a scholarly source, letting you know whose studies the researches built their own study upon.  Note, though, that in MLA Style, this list of sources would be headed by "Works Cited," not "References":

  • Unlike most research articles, the style and vocabulary used in this article are pretty easy to understand for the average reader (this is unusual for a journal article reporting the results of research, as most research articles use jargon or specialized language that may be more difficult to understand).

To email the article to yourself with an automatically-generated citation in MLA Style Email icon in the Tools sidebar on the right side of the screen, pictured below, circled in yellow:


On the screenshot below of the email pop-up, notice several things:

  • Your email address goes in the box circled in yellow
  • Any Subject you want to apply to the email for easy identification when it comes into your inbox can be put in the box circled in orange
  • On the right side circled in purple, you can designate the type of citation style you want created (click on the drop-down menu to select APA)
  • Once everything is complete, click the Send button, circled in green, to receive the PDF in an attachment, and the MLA citation in the body of your email message.

Note that the citation generated by the database (that can be seen using the Cite link a couple of screenshots up) MOST LIKELY WILL NEED SOME TWEAKING!  Do not just copy and paste it without double-checking it first!!

For example, notice the citation generated in MLA Style below:

  • Notice that everything is correct, except for the vendor EBSCOhost being used instead of the name of the database:  Academic Search Complete.
  • Notice the DOI number circled in aqua; many journal articles have them; if so, use them in the citation.  Some are in link format (with the https:// included; some are not:  doi:10.1568/journal.article.7892365).  In MLA style, you must remove the https:// in any URL!
  • Always watch out for the need for these kinds of corrections in citations automatically generated by the databases.  They tend to include the following errors that need correction:
    • Italicization errors
    • Including more than the required information
    • Omitting some of the required information
    • Including http:// or https:// information in a DOI or a URL (you must remove it)

For more example to compare these citations to as templates, see the MLA Style Resources link in the left sidebar of this guide, especially Purdue OWL for plentiful examples.