University Writing

This research guide identifies library resources to support your research in the University Writing course.  If you need research help, feel free to contact me directly. I'd be glad to set up an appointment with you.

See: Resources for University Writing Students

Check out:  Undergraduate Guide to the Libraries

Watch Now! Library Research Tutorials and Videos

Establishing Context

  • Gale Virtual Reference Library
    A database of full-text specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research.
  • Gale Biography in Context
    A databse of biographical information on over 320,000 people from throughout history, around the world, and across all disciplines and subject areas.
  • Literati by Credo
    A collection of full-text reference books. Use the mind map to visualize your idea in context. Consult Research Tips, videos and tutorials.
  • Oxford Reference Online
    Search across hundreds of Oxford University Press encyclopedias and companions.


Databases - Discovering the Conversation, Identifying Major Voices

Search Tip: Click  in search results to get full-text.

How to evaluate the credibility of an online source. 

  • EBSCOhost Research Databases
    Select All to search across a wide selection of scholarly databases.
    Scholarly articles from more than 1,500 peer-reviewed journals in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences.
  • Google Scholar
    Useful for broad searches of scholarly literature. Click Preferences option to link directly to Columbia's collection of e-journals.
  • Proquest
    Use the suggested topics to search by subject.
  • Web of Science
    Provides access to the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, Science Citation Index. Click E-Link to see full text.
  • Project Muse
    Coverage typically starts with journal issues after 2000.
  • LexisNexis Academic
    Articles from newspapers, wire services; law reviews, case law, government documents.


Finding Books and Articles in Columbia's Collections

  • CLIO
    Columbia's online catalog for books, journals, films and music.
    Search Tip:
     Use Quick Limit to find films or music; re-sort titles by newest first.
  • WorldCat
    Search for books and journals in major library collections around the world.
  • Borrow Direct
    A borrowing service offered by the university libraries of Columbia, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Yale, Harvard and MIT. It is designed to allow students, faculty and staff to request (and receive in four days) books directly from each other's collections.


Need help citing sources? See Citation Guides and Resources. For help writing your paper, contact the Writing Center.


One-Minute Paper:

Library Services

The Columbia University Libraries offer a wide range of research, instruction, and borrowing services to support all levels of academic research.

Hours & Study Spaces

Check the hours of our libraries, departments and services. We offer a variety of study spaces and venues. See which Study Spaces are Open Now!  

Reference & Research Help

Librarians are available to assist you with research support in person, via e-mail, phone, IM, or by appointment. If you need help, Ask a Librarian.

Finding Library Materials

The Libraries' website is a gateway to collections and services.

CLIO is the libraries' unified discovery system. It provides a search interface to many kinds of resources, both local (e.g., our catalog and website) and non-local (e.g., articles and e-journals).

Borrow Direct enables you to borrow books directly from other university libraries if the book you need is unavailable or is not owned by Columbia University.

Interlibrary Loan is the service to use for items that are not available through Borrow Direct, such as journal articles.

Library Tutorials and Workshops

Our Library Tutorials video available are short video tutorials to help you with your research. Many of the Columbia Libraries offer hands-on research skills workshops to help you make better use of the libraries.