English 110 – Pages – Social Issues


CC0 public domain image from Pixabay.




About this Guide

This guide provides students with recommended resources for conducting research in English 110 with Professor Pages.
Use the tabs to navigate through the pages of the guide.

Your Assignment

A research paper on a social issue, to be chosen from the topic list provided by your instructor.

Paper Writing Assistance

About SBCC’s Writing Center
The SBCC Learning Resource Center – writing tools online

Need more help?

If you need more help with research, ask a librarian! Stop by the Reference Desk, or contact a librarian by phone, email, or chat for more help. Find our contact information on the right side of this page.Contact Us

Background Info

Reference sources are a great place to start, get topic ideas, identify good search terms, and get background information on your topic.

Print Reference Books

These resources are available in the Luria Library Reference section.

  • Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Social Issues — R 306.0973 S528e 2011
  • The Sage Encyclopedia of Terrorism — R 363.325 M381s 2011
  • Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy — R 179.1 C158c 2009
  • Crime and Punishment in America: An Encyclopedia of Trends and Controversies in the Justice System — R 364.973 F513c 2017
  • Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment — R 364.03 L665e
  • Early Childhood Education: An International Encyclopedia — R 372.2103 N532e

Online Reference Sources

These resources are available online and will require your Pipeline account information when you access them off campus.

  • Credo Reference: Contains the full text of nearly 600 encyclopedias, dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, and other reference books.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library: Contains the full text of encyclopedias and specialized reference sources.
  • The Official Guide to American Attitudes: Who Thinks What About the Issues That Shape Our Livesebook
  • Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim Worldebook
  • Encyclopedia of Energyebook

Keywords

Sometimes the words you use to describe a topic are different from the words used by the library catalog and databases. If you have trouble finding information on your topic, ask a librarian for help choosing the best keywords to use in your search. Or, try some of the search words listed below.

  • Animal rights
  • Alternatives to imprisonment — United States
  • Consumption — health aspects — United States
  • Educational accountability — United States
  • Energy conservation– United States
  • Renewable energy sources
  • Nuclear energy– Government policy– United States
  • Population policy — United States
  • Birth Control — United States
  • Technological innovations — Social aspects
  • Technology and children
  • Terrorism — Religious aspects — Islam

Books & Articles

Use the library catalog (books+) to search for books on your topic. To limit your search results to books, choose the appropriate box from the menu to the left of your search results.

Articles

Use the following databases to find articles from periodicals (magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals). These resources will require your Pipeline account information when you access them off campus.

For a good broad-coverage database to begin your search, try:

  • Academic Search Premier: This multi-disciplinary database provides full text for more than 4,600 journals, including full text for nearly 3,900 peer-reviewed titles. PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals, and searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,000 titles.

For pro/con information on current or controversial issues, try searching one of these databases:

  • CQ Researcher: An excellent source of pro/con information, containing single-themed reports on issues in the news. Provides in-depth, unbiased coverage of both sides of controversial issues related to health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy. Each 12,000-word report includes: an introductory overview; background and chronology on the topic; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources. Offers access to CQ Researcher reports dating back to 1991.
  • Opposing Viewpoints: An excellent source of pro/con information, providing opinions and other information on hundreds of today’s hottest social issues. Includes continuously updated viewpoint articles, topic overviews, full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, statistics, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites.

For newspaper articles, try searching one of these sources:

  • National Newspapers Expanded: Searches the following papers: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, and Washington Post.
  • Newspaper Source Plus: Provides cover-to-cover full text for 35 national and international newspapers. The database also contains selective full text for more than 375 regional (U.S.) newspapers. In addition, full text television and radio news transcripts are also provided.

See the Luria Library’s database descriptions page for a full list of library databases, or ask a librarian for the best database to use for your topic.

Evaluating Websites

Figuring out whether the information you find online is credible enough for college research can be challenging. Use the P.R.O.V.E.N. Source Evaluation Questions to help you determine whether the sources you find are credible:

  • Purpose: How and why the source was created. Is it intended to educate, inform, persuade, sell, or entertain? Do the authors, publishers, or sponsors state this purpose, or try to disguise it? Why was this information published in this particular type of source (book, article, website, blog, etc.)? Is the source designed for the general public, students, or experts?
  • Relevance: The value of the source for your needs. Does the type of source meet your assignment’s requirements? Does the information answer your question, support your argument, or add something to your knowledge of the topic? Is it too general or too specific? Is it too basic or too advanced?
  • Objectivity: The reasonableness and completeness of the information. Do the authors present the information thoroughly and professionally? Is it fact or opinion? Is it biased? Do the authors use strong, emotional, manipulative, or offensive language? Do they leave out, or make fun of, important facts or alternative perspectives?
  • Verifiability: The accuracy and truthfulness of the information. Do the authors support the information they present with strong factual evidence? Do they cite or provide links to other sources? What do experts say about the topic? Can you verify the information in other credible sources? Does the source contradict itself, include false statements, or misrepresent other sources?
  • Expertise: The authority of the creators of the source. What makes the authors, publishers, or sponsors of the source authorities on the topic? Do they have related education, experience, or other expertise? Do they provide an important alternative perspective? Has the source been reviewed in some way, such as by an editor or through peer review?
  • Newness: The age of the information. Is your topic in an area that requires current information (such as science, technology, or current events), or could information found in older sources still be useful? When was the information presented in the source first published or posted? Are newer sources available that would add important information to your understanding of the topic?

Recommended Websites

For more help locating reliable information online, see the Finding Credible Web Sources research guide.