Answered By: Daisy Ngo Last Updated: Feb 26, 2016 Views: 87
Accessing JSTOR is pretty easy! Choosing three scholarly articles is harder, though. We've covered how to access the JSTOR, so check that answer first and make sure you're able to get into the database. Remember, you can access JSTOR from home.
JSTOR, like many databases, contains scholarly articles. While not everything in JSTOR is peer-reviewed, it is held to a scholarly standard. That's why your professor is asking you to use this database.
When searching JSTOR, you will want to start with general keywords -- the essence of your topic -- to get an idea of the kinds of articles that exist in the database. As an example, I did a search for global warming in JSTOR and 31,667 results (only 30,773 were from journals). The first journal result is an article titled "Addressing Global Warming" from the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. I can click on the title of the article to view the first page, but to see the entire article I would need to download the PDF by clicking "View PDF" under Tools. Reading this article would give me an idea of whether this is a topic I want to pursue; if it is, I now have one source. If not, I'd want to re-search with another topic / keyword.
If you have a specific topic in mind, make sure to break it down into its key words -- be broad, especially at first, to get an understanding of what kinds of information exist in these scholarly articles. Once you've searched for your topic, look through the results. You will find many different articles to read and consider.
Feel free to ask a librarian once you have a topic in mind -- we'll be happy to help.