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SUST 201: Nature & Society: Research Guide

Guides on how to search

For your research assignment in this class, you are required to find information on the relationship between society and the environment. Your focus should be broadly on sustainability with specific interests in concepts such as climate change impacts, sustainable climate change adaptation strategies, sustainable land use and agriculture, sustainable water use, science communication in climate change, etc. The resources in this guide will help you conduct this research using the library.

The fillable research worksheet below will guide you through exploring your chosen topic, brainstorming keywords for searching, and evaluating your chosen sources:


Exploring your topic and developing a search strategy


For more info on brainstorming keywords, watch this two-minute video (from PSU Libraries):

The PDF handouts below provide step-by-step instructions for searching using some key library resources to find articles and books, along with additional tips for searching and finding scholarly sources in general.

Below the PDF handouts, you will find links directly to the library resources mentioned in the handouts, so you can get started searching once you've reviewed the guidance in the handouts.

The best place to start searching the library is Primo--the main search form on the library homepage:


How to search using Primo (the WOU library search engine)


You can also find scholarly articles and books (mainly articles) by searching in one or more of the smaller, subject-specific databases that the library subscribes to:

How to search using EBSCO databases (ex. Academic Search Premier)


Finding Articles

A good place to start your search is the library's "search engine," Primo. To begin searching in Primo, just go to the library homepage at and enter your keywords in the main search box.

Search in Primo


Below are some subject-specific additional databases you may want to use to conduct your research. Just like in Primo, search using your brainstormed keywords. Most of what is available in these databases will show up in your Primo searches, but since these databases are smaller and subject-specific you will get fewer results and therefore might find them easier to manage. Most of the results in these databases will be journal articles, rather than books. 

Citation Guides

Writing a paper? Wondering how to format in APA, MLA, or another format? Check out our citation tools and guides.



NoodleTools helps you write citations in MLA, APA, or Chicago format, and create annotated bibliographies. It also has tools to create notecards, draft an outline of your paper and keep track of "To Do" tasks. Citations can be exported directly to your Google Drive, or to Word or other formats.

How to Set-up and Use NoodleTools

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