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COU 512: Counseling Research: Articles

This guide will help students in COU 512 complete their research papers and assignments.

Example of an Effective Search

If your assignment calls for you to find information on counseling in schools, you may search for 

"counseling AND schools" or "counseling in schools"

in a database (to find articles) or in the Library Catalog (to find books). Using quotation marks around the phrase tells the database to search for the words together, as a phrase.

When searching for articles, limit your search to match your search needs.

  • For example, if you need scholarly (or peer-reviewed) articles, select the related box on the left side of the screen.
  • If you need articles published in the last 5 years, change the dates on the left side of the screen to 2014-2019.
  • If you're doing historical research, you can change the dates to find older information. For example, you could change the search dates to 1940-1960 and the database will list all articles published on your topic during that time frame.
  • If you need articles on school counseling as it relates to race, you might want to search for "counseling in schools" AND (Black OR "African American"), etc.
  • If you need articles on school counseling related to economic class, you may want to search for "counseling in schools" AND "middle class," etc.
  • After you press Search, browse through the list of articles provided. Reading abstracts is a good way to know if an article is right for you. Abstracts can be found beneath the title of peer-reviewed articles.
  • If you feel overwhelmed by a large number of articles, add another search term to limit results further. You can also click Full text to see only articles available in their entirety.
  • Remember: If you don't find what you're looking for in a database, search a different database. Many different databases and ejournals are available to you. You might find only an abstract to an article in one database but a different database might have the full text, so explore all your options.

Accessing Databases From Home

Accessing Databases from Home

In order to access the databases from home you must first be in our system.

To check this:

  • Go to the Library's web site
  • Click on Library Catalog
  • Click on the link that says "patron"
  • If you can access your patron information, you are in the system. If not,
    you will need to come to the library and fill out a patron update form

To access the databases:

  • Go to the Library's web site
  • Click on Databases
  • Select a database from the subject areas or from the alphabetical listing
  • The login screen will ask that you:
    1. Enter your Campus ID without hyphens
    1. Enter your LAST NAME in lower case
  • Once in the database enter your search terms in the search boxes provided

If you are in our system and unable to login to the databases please send an email to for support.

If you need help using the databases please contact the Reference Desk (334) 229-4110.

How to Access Databases

Step 1

On the library's homepage, click Databases by Title.

Step 2

Click on the first letter of the database

Step 3

Select the desired database

How to Find Articles

In order to find articles, first go to the LWLC homepage and select "Databases by Subject" in the blue box on the lower left hand portion of the page. Next, select the subject you're wanting to research such as "Education" (for counseling information in the field of education). Finally, a new page will open with a list of databases relevant to that topic. 

Tips & Tricks


  • Choose the Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed Journal checkbox in each database before you press search.
  • Limit your search to full text only if you’re interested in finding articles that are immediately available.
  • The use of Boolean Operators is an effective search strategy. Using the words AND or NOT will limit your search results, providing you with fewer hits. Using the word OR will expand your search and provide a greater number of results.

    To see how this works, visit The Boolean Machine.

  • Truncation can expand your search results to include information or concepts that you may otherwise overlook. By using a "wildcard" in your search, you may find several variations of the same word or concept.

    For an overview of truncation, visit Owens Library's Truncation page.

Helpful Resources

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