English 103 – Spaventa

map of Italy

About this guide

This guide provides students with recommended resources for conducting research for the three paper assignments in English 103 with Professor Spaventa. Use the tabs to navigate through the pages of the guide.

Paper Writing Assistance

SBCC Writing Center
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Need more help?

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

Your Assignment

Write a paper on an aspect of Italian culture in a region of Italy.


Remember that the words you use to describe your topic may be 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.

    Architecture – Italy
    Fashion – Italy
    Food habits – Italy
    Italy – Civilization
    Music – Italy
    Italy – Social life and customs
    Italy – Description and travel

Reference Sources

Reference books and reference databases are a good place to begin your research, and find background information on your topic. Ask a librarian to suggest the best reference book for your particular topic, or use one of the reference databases listed below.

Reference Databases

To access online resources from off-campus, you will need to log in with your Pipeline account information:

  • County Watchcontains information about countries, including news on the latest political, economic, corporate, and environmental events, and detailed geographical, political, economic, corporate, and environmental briefings.
  • Credo Reference contains the full text of nearly 600 encyclopedias, dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, and other reference books covering all major subject areas.


Search the library catalog for print books and ebooks on your topic. See the Keywords above for some words to try in your search.


Use the database below to find articles from periodicals (newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals) about your topic. To access databases from off campus, you will need to log in with your Pipeline username and password.

  • Academic Search Premier For articles from periodicals (journals, magazines, and newspapers) in all subject areas.


Remember to evaluate any websites you find on your own, using the P.R.O.V.E.N. Test for Evaluating Sources.

Consider starting with the recommended websites below:

Check here later in the semester for tips on researching youth culture in the United States.

Check here later in the semester for tips on researching writing memoir.

Evaluating Sources

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. Test for Evaluating Sources to determine whether the sources you find are credible:

  • Purpose: The reason the information exists

    Is the purpose to sell, to entertain, to inform, to teach, or to persuade? Do the authors and publishers/sponsors make their purposes clear? Is this source designed for general readers or academic readers?

  • Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs

    Does it relate to your topic? Does it meet the requirements of your assignment? Is it too basic or too advanced?

  • Objectivity: The reasonableness of the information

    Is it fact or opinion? Is it biased? Do the authors use strong or emotional language, or leave out important facts or alternative perspectives?

  • Verifiability: The truthfulness and accuracy of the information

    Where does the information come from? Can you verify it in other sources? Are there citations or links to other sources? What do experts say about the topic?

  • Expertise: The source of the information

    Who are the authors, publishers, or sponsors of the information? Are they experts, or has the information been reviewed by experts? Is it posted on a personal website or blog?

  • Newness: The timeliness of the information

    When was the information published or posted? Is it up to date? Is your topic in an area that requires current information (such as technology or current events), or will older sources work as well?

Citing Your Sources

This Citation Worksheet is a helpful way to keep track of your sources and all the elements you will need for citing them in your paper.

MLA Formatting Guides