Skip to Main Content

Writing & Composition

This Guide will show you where to look for useful writing, researching & composition information.

Which Should I Search?

Think about the kinds of items you want to find.
Then pick a useful research tool based on answers to these questions:
1. Which topics does it cover?
2. What types of materials does it index or provide?
3. What time period does it cover?

Looking for...?

I want to find... Check here first... Check here next...
Books Pierce Library Catalog (type in search box) Los Angeles Public Library (
Electronic Books Pierce Library Catalog (type in search box)  Los Angeles Public Library (
Magazine & journal articles A-Z Databases OR Pierce Subject Guides Online Journal Article Collections (e.g., JSTOR)
Book chapters Pierce Library Catalog (type in search box)
TIP! Search for the book title

Los Angeles Public Library (
(Tip: Search for the book title) (Search inside the book)
Google Books

What Is Not Included?

Think about the research tools you already use.

Some are free to everyone, while others are licensed for limited use.

You may be surprised to learn what they do not include.

Research Tool Examples NOT INCLUDED

General Web search tools (free)



=> Books owned by specific libraries

=> Most magazine &  journal articles

Library Catalogs
(mostly free)

Pierce Library Catalog

=> Individual magazine & journal articles

Article Databases
(mostly licensed)

 Academic Search  Complete


=> Many books

=> Most public web pages

Online Journal Article Collections (licensed)


=> Latest 5-7 years of many journal articles

=> Some important journals in a number of disciplines