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DST 501: Final Essay - Finding Sources

DST 501 Final Essay - Finding Sources

1. Look through your Reading List and the Disability Studies Reader to pick readings

2. Understand what a Scholarly Source is.

3. Formulate your keywords to start searching 

4. Start searching using the TMU Library website for scholarly sources

You can use:

  • Search Everything
  • Disability Studies Journals
  • Subject Databases

**Understand your results - Sources that are medical vs social model.

5. Cite your sources 

6. At anytime, if you need help, please contact me (Kelly) by phone or email and we can set up a meeting. (, or 416-979-5000 x3093). I'm available to help over the phone or email.  

What are Scholarly Articles and Databases

What are “scholarly articles”?

Scholarly articles appear in academic journals and they are written by researchers, professors and other experts.

They contain:

  • Expert knowledge

  • Are double checked for accuracy by other experts (Peer Reviewed

  • Have good research methods

  • Focus on a specific topic/issue


Scholarly articles are found in databases on the library's website. When looking at your search results, you will see a button or check mark to click to limit your results to scholarly / peer reviewed articles.

*You might also find an article that disagrees with your argument. Incorporating “dissenting” sources into your paper and debating their merit with your other supporting sources is exactly what scholarship is about. Scholarly writing is a conversation and a debate between your ideas and your sources.


 Accuracy and quality of information matters


What are "databases"?

A database is an organized collection of information like Netflix, which is a database of streaming videos. Library databases are collections of scholarly articles, ebooks, and more.


Why are databases awesome?
Library databases allow you to search through millions of scholarly and popular articles, making your life easier. They let you:

  • Read full text of articles in PDF or HTML (just look for the “Full Text Link” or the “GET IT” link).

  • Narrow your results to only “peer reviewed”

  • Email the article to yourself

  • Show you how to cite your article in APA (or another citation style you need)


Disability Studies Keywords (Search Words)

Using the right words to search will pull more results! The words are based on the content of your source and the search terms assigned by the author/ publisher.

 Here are examples of Words related to your topic:

  • Disability, Disability Studies, Sociology of Disability
  • People with Disabilities, persons with disabilities 
  • Mental Health, Mental Illness, mentally ill
  • Specific disabilities......(Medical terms) 
    • visual disabilities, hearing impaired, hearing disabilities, Autism etc.,

PLUS words like: 

  • Social Aspects,
  • Social Model, Medical Model
  • Activism,
  • Embodiment
  • Agency, Self-Determination
  • Community
  • Mass Media   
  • Care, Rehabilitation
  • Family relations
  • Employment
  • Inclusion
  • Etc.,,,,

How it Works: 

Take any of these terms and connect them with AND in capital letters-  (This is Boolean Searching)

Eg: Mental Illness AND Agency AND Canada

Yellow Question Mark For more Help with keywords and "boolean searching" 

New Lexicon to Try:

Article Databases are now able to search the body of full text articles. That means the search engine will be able to pull articles written with new research terms. So try these search terms as well:



Anti-Oppressive Practice



Crip Theory

Mad identity/pride/community etc……

Identity Politics



Social constructionism




Service user (common term in the UK)

Recovery discourse



Cite Your Sources

Find articles using Search Everything


It searches through the majority of the Library's databases, e-book/book collection, newspapers and more.


2. Type in your keywords and click the Go button.

For example:

Autism AND Classroom Behavior


Autism AND Teacher Attitude


3. Limit your search to peer-reviewed articles on the left side of your screen

Example of search everything result page

4. Click on the “Full Text” link to read the article.

Start Searching 

Can't Find Anything?

Found nothing using Search Everything? 

Try the following list of Academic Journals. You can search within these academic journals for articles. 

You can also try the Databases. Databases have thousands of articles in different disciplines like Social Work, Public Health or Sociology. 

Disability Studies Journals

Listed here are peer reviewed journals that have articles specific to disability studies:


Book spines with Call numbers

Other peer reviewed journals that contain related topics:**

**Medical Model vs the Social Model in the your Results 

Be aware that you will need to read you article carefully to figure out if the author is using a medical /rehabilitation model to analyze disability. The title of the paper or the journal is not always a clue as to what the tone of the content is. 

Discipline (Subject) Databases

Printer operating a Gutenberg-style screw pressYou can search the following databases for articles on how your discipline looks at your topic of disability. These are subject specific as well as multidisciplinary databases. Each database will contains different articles, so be prepared to search more than one database.

(Printer operating a Gutenberg-style screw press)


List of Discipline databases: Databases by Subject

**Be aware that you will need to read you article carefully to figure out if the author is using a medical /rehabilitation model to analyze disability. The title of the paper or the journal is not always a clue as to what the tone of the content is. 


Mulit-Subject Databases

These are Multi-Disciplinary Databases and search all subject areas including Business and Medicine.