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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Writing in Criminal Justice: How to find articles

How do I choose search terms?

Once you have narrowed down your topic and come up with the research question your paper will explore, identify the main concepts in your query. Use these concepts as your search terms (keywords).

See examples below:



How does domestic violence affect children?                         

Compose your search:

domestic violence and  children

How else might you compose your search?

family violence and  children  

Does providing employment opportunitities to ex-prisoners reduce the risk they will re-offend (recidivism)?

Compose your search:

ex-prisoners and employment and  recidivism

ex-convicts and  employment and  recidivism

formerly incarcerated and employment and recidivism

Perhaps broaden the search to find more about recidivism in general:


recidivism and  causes


How Do Peer-Reviewed Articles Differ From Popular Ones?

This 3 minute video from the Peabody Library at Vanderbilt University talks about the differences between popular and scholarly articles.  It also mentions trade publications. 

How do I connect from off-campus?

When you are not physically at John Jay, access the databases by first going to the library homepage, then click on the database links.  You will be prompted for your John Jay email user name and password.

Your user name is the letters preceding the @ sign in your email address. For example the email address for John Smith is Enter john.smith in the user name box. Your password is the one you are currently using to access your email. If you experience problems while logging in, please visit the Password Reset Site or call the DoIT help desk at 212 237 8200.


How to find articles in OneSearch

OneSearch is a good place to find articles on many subjects.

There are many approaches to finding articles; OneSearch is just one of them. You could also choose a specific database. Keep reading below.

Searching for a specific TYPE of article?

Some assignments will ask you to find specific types of articles, e.g. a scholarly article, or newspaper article, or magazine article.

Use the Source Types under Refine Results to limit your results to magazines, journals, newspapers, or trade publications. Each search result should have a source type associated with it, like Periodical, along with where it was published (magazine title).


Looking for newspaper articles? Some databases that contain only newspaper articles.

Looking for scholarly articles? Many of the discipline-specific databases include articles only from academic / scholarly publications, such as...