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CS 296: Writing Lab

CS 296: Writing in the Major Lab, Fall 2020

In This Guide

In this Guide, you'll find:

  • Tips and resources for finding sources, including:
    • Scholarly articles
    • Trade journals and industry information
    • News sources
  • Information on Worldcat, the library catalog, for local resources, and to kick-start the interlibrary loan process
  • An assignment to get you started with research
  • Contact information for Ryan Gjerde, the librarian for the CS department.


  1. After reading through this guide, think about which type of publication (scholarly, trade, or news) would be most helpful to your research.
  2. Choose one of the databases listed on this guide, and perform a keyword search on your topic.
  3. Find one full-text result from your chosen database, and skim briefly.
  4. Send me an email ( with the following information:
    1. Your topic
    2. Name of database chosen
    3. Your keyword search (if different from your topic)
    4. A citation for your chosen article, along with the link to the full text.
    5. A paragraph describing how your chosen article could contribute to your research project.

In addition, as you continue to work on your project -

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you have along the way! I am available for consultations and appointments if desired.

Getting Started

Common Article Types

Many of the articles you'll find helpful for Computer Science research fall in one of three types of publications.

  • Scholarly research journals - containing articles written by experts in the discipline (faculty members, graduate students, research professionals) for a scholarly audience. Often these articles provide in-depth theory behind an algorithm, programming language, or data strucure.

  • Trade publications & Industry information - these articles are also written by experts, but tend to be geared toward practitioners. For example, you may find comparisons between programming languages or of services employing particular algorithms. Often companies will share in-depth information on their products and services on their websites, in articles known as white papers.
  • News sources - news articles can be found in trade-specific and mainstream sources. While these may not provide in-depth information, they can provide valuable insight into public opinion, or general practices, for example on topics related to information security or privacy.

Scholarly Articles

For scholarly research, try one of these scholarly databases: 

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TIP: Find it at Preus through Google Scholar

From on-campus, Google Scholar will automatically display "Find it at Preus Library" links if an article is available through one of our databases.

This same feature can be set up from off-campus using the following steps:

  1. In Google Scholar, click the "hamburger" menu in the upper left corner, 
  2. Click the bottom link, "Settings," from the menu that appears.
  3. Click "Library links" from the Settings menu on the left.
  4. Search for Luther College in the search box.
  5. Check "Luther College - Find it at Preus Library" and click "Save."

Trade Publications & Industry Information

For trade/industry information, start with Academic Search Elite:

In addition...

Visit a company's website to search for white papers and other documentation they may provide.

News Sources

For news sources, try one or more of the following:

Searching the Library Catalog & Requesting ILLs

Worldcat is your gateway to resources from Preus, and other libraries!

Look for "Search Preus Library and beyond" on the library's website.

Find Technology eBooks

A keyword search on your topic will likely include ebooks from one of the library's subscription collections. 

Find Full-text Articles

The library's databases and online journal subscriptions are available in our catalog, and results will often link out directly to full-text articles.

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TIP: Request Articles through Interlibrary Loan

In addition to Luther-held books and articles, Worldcat also returns results from thousands of libraries around the world.

If you find a citation to a promising article which isn't available in full-text, you can use Worldcat to quickly request an interlibrary loan!

  1. Copy and paste the full title of the desired article into the Worldcat search box on the library homepage.
  2. If the article does not appear, change the "Sort by" setting from "Library" to "Best Match." This should promote your article to the top of the result list.
  3. Click the article title to view the detailed record for the article.
  4. Click the "Request Item through Interlibrary Loan" button to submit a request.

Once your request has been fulfilled by another library, you'll receive an email and be able to download a PDF copy of the article.

Web Resources

Looking for more resources? Check Wikipedia!

While you likely will not use articles from Wikipedia as direct sources in your research, it does have particularly good introductory coverage of many technology-related topics.

In addition to helping you form a basic understanding of a topic, most Wikipedia articles provide a list of references at the bottom - often including important scholarly research, trade information, and news! In many cases, these references will include links to full-text articles. If not, search in Worldcat to see if the library has access directly or through interlibrary loan.


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Ryan Gjerde
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207E Preus Library

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