Searching JSTOR

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In this tutorial, you will learn how to find articles using JSTOR.   This is an excellent multidisciplinary database that contains the archives of over 1,000 leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

JSTOR provides access from the first journal issues to the most recent 3–7 years depending on the specific journal.

Use the arrows below to navigate through the tutorial.

Locate JSTOR

Using the page to your right, click on JSTOR.

You may be prompted to enter your UA NetID and password.

You are now in JSTOR.

Identify a research topic

Your professor has assigned an 8-10 page research paper having to do with the history of U.S. presidential elections.

Which of the topics below would work best for this assignment?

Construct a keyword search

1 of 2Your topic is: The history of rhetoric in presidential debates in the United States.

To start, you will need to determine the best keywords.

What are the 2 - 5 most important words for this topic?

Construct a keyword search

2 of 2Now combine your keywords into an effective search.

Which search will get the best results?


Search JSTOR

Type history rhetoric "presidential debates" "United States" into the search box.

Click the Search button.

Search Tip

How many results did you find?

Evaluate your search results

1 of 4Skim the titles of your search results and locate the article, "The Context-Embeddedness of Political Discourse: A Re-Evaluation of Reagan's Rhetoric in the 1982 Midterm Election Campaign."

Click the title to open the article.

Evaluate your search results

2 of 4Take a look at the article information.

How many pages are in this article?

How many times do your search terms occur in this article?

What is the first sentence of the abstract?

Evaluate your search results

3 of 4

Will this article be useful for your 8-10 page paper? (The history of rhetoric in presidential debates in the United States.)

Modify your search

1 of 6

Scroll back to the top of the screen and select the link Back to Search Results (on the upper right-hand side of the page), or use your browser’s back arrow to return to your search results.

Select the link Modify Search.

Select the link Advanced Search (unless you are already in Advanced Search).

If the search box is empty, type these keywords into the search box: history rhetoric "presidential debates" "United States"

WAIT!  Don't click Search yet!

Modify your search

2 of 6

Under Narrow by, check the box next to Articles.

Under Narrow by discipline and/or publication title, click the boxes next to History and Political Science.


What do you think will happen to your search, now that you have set search parameters?


Now click Search.

Modify your search

3 of 6

How many results did you find?

Modify your search

4 of 6

Skim the titles of your search results and locate this article: "In Defense of Negative Campaigning" (you may have to go to the second page of results).

Select the article title link and read the first paragraph.

Based on the first paragraph, would you use this article for your paper on the history of rhetoric in presidential debates?

Modify your search

5 of 6

What else can you do if you wanted to find more articles that relate to your research question?


E-mail citations and download articles

1 of 3

To email a search result, scroll to the top of the screen and from the Tools list on the right, click on the Email Citation link that looks like this: Email citation

Enter your email address.

(Note: This only sends the link to the citations, not the full document.)

E-mail citations and download articles

2 of 3

If you want to save, print, or e-mail an article, do the following:


Select the Back to Search Results link near the top right of the screen.

Select the Article PDF link under the article you wish to download.

You will be prompted to view the Terms and Conditions before accepting them and proceeding to the PDF.

Open the article in Adobe Reader.

Once the article opens, select the print or save icon.


Congratulations. You have completed this tutorial!