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AHS 102 Journal Article Summary Assignment

This guide is designed to help you complete your AHS 102 professional journal article summary assignment.

Searching the Database

NOTE: These are general guidelines and helpful hints. Please check with your instructor for your specific requirements.

Start at the library's home page (

Click on "Find Articles," and then "Health Sciences" to locate the Health Science Databases.

The database that is usually used for this assignment is: Gale OneFile: Health and Medicine

Off Campus Access: If you are off-campus, you'll need to log in. The username is your Web ID (ex: absmith), and the password is your portal password.

Dual Enrollment Students: please use the this link to access Gale OneFile: Health and Medicine; however, you'll have to ask a librarian for the username and password to get in this way. Thanks!

Once inside the database:

  1. Underneath the search box, click "Advanced Search."

Gale OneFile Search Box

2. On the right side of the search box, click the drop-down arrow beside "Keyword," and then choose "Subject" from the drop-down list that appears.

3.  In the search box, type the name of the body system (or part of the system, or disease) that you are looking for (ex. gastrointestinal system, or large intestine, or irritable bowel syndrome).

4. Click the blue "Search" button below the search box to submit the search.

Gale OneFile Advanced Search Box

5. On the search results page, look at the right-hand side of the page and in the "Filter Your Results" section, check "Peer Reviewed Journals" (this is a requirement). Make sure "Full Text" is also checked. Under "Showing Results" you should see "Academic Journals" (these are peer-reviewed articles). 

Gale OneFile Peer review

You can also filter by date. Your instructor wants articles no older than 5 years. Be sure to click "Apply" after entering your dates. You will need to select both a month, year, and day of the month.

Gale OneFile: Health and Medicine date filter


6. Scroll through the list of results and select an article that meets the assignment requirements, including the article type (i.e. Report, Article, Case Study, Clinical Report, etc. Some instructors will want you to only pick certain types of articles). 
Note: To limit yourself to only viewing articles, select the "Article" option under "Document Type" in the right sidebar. You will need to click on the "Apply" button at the bottom of the list of types of results to complete the filtering process to get only articles.

Apply icon

7.  Also check the article's word count (in the information under the article's title). The assignment requires at 1,000-4,000 words.

8. Once you've found a possible article, click on the title of the article to read the full-text.

9. Scan the article to make sure you see at least 10 medical terms you can define (assignment requirement).

10. Make sure you can understand enough of the article to summarize it.

11. When viewing the article, look at the icons above the article title. Click on the "Print" icon to get a printer-friendly version of the article. Click "Email" to email the article to yourself.

12.  MLA citation information can be found by clicking the "Cite" icon on top right side of the screen. The "Cite" icon will give you a computer-generated MLA citation, but sometimes the computer gets it wrong. If you copy the citation, be sure to compare it to the Library's MLA for AHS 102 Handout to make any necessary formatting changes. Also, if your instructor requires the URL make sure you include it.


Print and Email Icons in Gale OneFile: Health and Medicine

13. Click the "Results" icon at the top left side of the screen by the search box to return to your search results page and look for another article

Results icon

How to Select a Good Article

  • Check the article's length. 1,000-4,000 words is required. Look for an article that has at least 2 full pages of text. Many articles have long lists of references at the end, so they are not as long as they appear.
  • Check the type of article -- on the search results page, look just above the article to see whether it is labeled an "Article," a "Report," a "Case Study," etc. Check with your instructor to see what types of articles are appropriate.
  • Scan through the article to make sure that you will be able to understand it.
  • Check to make sure the article is peer-reviewed -- when reading the article, click on the title of the journal (next to "From:"), then make sure there is a "Yes" beside "Peer-Reviewed."
  • Make sure the article is related to your chosen/assigned body system (about the entire system, a part of the system, or a disease that affects that system).
  • Check the date the article was published if your article needs to be less than five years old.