Databases, listed on the right, will lead you to peer-reviewed journals, specific to research on course-relevant topics. Please note that articles published in peer-reviewed journals are reviewed by experts and rigorously vetted before publication. Popular magazines, such as the ones found on magazine racks of large booksellers or published on Google, are not peer-reviewed.
Access to peer-reviewed materials is possible only through academic affiliation, i.e.,undergraduates, graduates, and faculty.
ProQuest and Academic Search Complete provide access to non-scholarly sources, such as newspaper and magazine articles.
The ERIC thesaurus is a tool that allows the user to determine the best search terms to use for a given search. For example, ERIC does not recognize "teenagers" as a major search term. It prefers "adolescents." It does not recognize "writing theory" as a search term; it prefers, for example, "writing process movement." It does recognize "writing across the curriculum" and "writing assessment." But it prefers "writing development" over "writing acquisition." (The MLA Bibliography also has a thesaurus.)
You can get results using "natural language," that is, your own search terms, but the use of the database's preferred terms tends to yield results that are more targeted.