A magazine is a collection of articles on popular topics written by journalists or subject experts. 

A magazine is a periodical, meaning it is published periodically or regularly -- usually weekly or monthly. These publications may have a broad or subject-specific focus. For example, Sports Illustrated magazine covers the broad topic of sports while Basketball magazine is all guessed it...the narrower topic of basketball.  

When do I use a magazine?

Use a magazine when you need general or recent information or opinions on the following:

  • popular topics or news (cooking, gardening, wildlife, travel, science, politics, current events, and more)
  • pop culture (music, movies, literature, art, fashion, sports, Internet, and more)

Where do I find a magazine?

Magazines can be found in print, online, or in a library database. Your school or public library will likely have a small collection of print magazines. Also, the libraries likely subscribe to databases that contain magazine articles. Some magazines make some of their articles available on their website for free, but for others, you have to pay to access them. To find publications on the Internet, use a search engine like Google to search for a specific title.  

How is a magazine organized?

Print versions have a table of contents at the beginning. Often, they have standard sections or regular features. For example, a magazine might have a section where readers' questions are answered, or it might have a column -- a space for an essay on a different topic written by the same person each time. Often an article will start on one page, and it will tell you what page to turn to in order to finish reading the article. 

How do I use a print magazine?

Think about what information you need and what magazine might cover that topic. Locate those magazines and scan through the table of contents to find the specific article/s on your topic. Sometimes a magazine might have an index that lists everything that was included in the magazine for a set period of time, like for a year. Longer articles may be divided into sections, and each section has a heading. Scan the headings to see which parts of the article may answer your question. 

How do I use an online magazine?

Online magazines may be exact replicas of the print version. Others are only published online. Some magazine websites only list the articles from the current issue, while others post older issues, too. Most online magazines can be browsed for casual reading or searched to find specific information. To search, enter the keyword you are looking for into the search box at the top of the page. Then click on the article you are interested in reading. To find specific words on a page, use the find function. Use Control + F (or Command + F for Macs) to open a search box. 

How do I use a database to find magazine articles?

Searching a database by keyword or subject will give you results from many source types -- magazines, journals, newspapers, eBooks, and more. Most databases' advanced search feature allows you to limit your search by the type of source you are looking for. You can also limit your source by date of article or by magazine title, and to only articles that are full text (versus just a summary of the article).  

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