Research at USC Libraries

Andy Rutkowski



  • Library search
  • Databases
  • Advanced search
  • Google Scholar
  • Research Guides
  • Other resources

links only active during teaching

Primary vs Secondary vs Teriatry sources

(but first)


direct, first-hand, closeness to an event or thing 


interpretation or analysis of a primary or secondary source. good way of getting back to a primary source.


overview, summary, encyclopedia, wikipedia, textbooks, etc. 
Census data extracted from cenus website
Article or book that discusses and uses that census data
Tertiary: Wikepedia entry for the US Census

The Library Search 

Why use the library site or library databases?

 Finding relevant and authoritative works

This main search box provides access across USC Library locations, a selection of core databases, digital library holdings, and other collections.

initial results by category - click on individual item or "See all results" to continue exploring






Use advanced search to narrow / broaden your results

Click on full text

and get the article from a database.

sharing options!


Some of my favorite databases and why

  • CQ Researcher Plus Archive
    • Provides great reports on relevant topics and issues in the United States. Reports include pro/con section, charts, maps, data, and references to other works.

  • Proquest
    • Get access to a range of sources, from newspapers to scholarly publications. Multidisciplinary so you will almost always find something relevant to get you started.

  • Social Explorer
    • Want data for your paper? The United States census is probably one of the best resources out there that can help support almost any research paper. Social Explorer provides an intuitive way to explore the Census and use it.

Other resources

  • LA Counts -​
    • Provides access to data from local, state and federal agencies. Also provides data stories that highlight how the data can be used.

Advanced Search

don't get boxed in!

  • find the search tips section or something similar.
    almost every database will have it!
  • think about how and why you might use the operators
  • explore the filters/facets

This link is only active during teaching sessions.

Google Scholar

change settings in order to link to USC Libraries  

  • click on library links
  • search for university of southern california
  • check off University of Southern California - Find it @ USC
  • save


if you selected USC you will see the Find it @ USC link for available articles

great way to find resources and librarians

Using the USC Libraries

By Andy Rutkowski

Using the USC Libraries

This slide deck provides information about how to use USC Libraries. This presentation is specifically designed and adaptable for writing 150/340 courses at USC.

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