English 103 – Vlcek-Scamahorn


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About this Guide

This guide provides students with recommended resources for conducting research on topics presented in the course textbook, America Now for English 103 with Professor Vlcek-Scamahorn. Use the tabs to navigate through the pages of the guide.

Your Assignment

Locate three articles, essays, or chapters using library search tools that are a minimum of two pages in length. Read the articles and complete the Evidence/Analysis; Say, Mean, Matter; and six Metacognitive Reading Tools worksheets. Evaluate each article and identify three points from each article you will showcase in your final presentation.

Paper Writing Assistance

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Need More Help?

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

Library Tutorials

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Explore the library’s online tutorials.


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!

Below you will find some examples of how a keyword or key-phrase can be described in different ways with broader, narrower, and related terms:

    Social Media

    • online social networks
    • twitter
    • information sharing


    • vocaublary
    • morphology
    • diction

    Free Speech

    • first amendment protections
    • civil rights
    • freedom of speech


    • ancestry
    • race relations
    • ethnic origin


    • weapon
    • shotguns
    • firearm


    • ecology
    • climate
    • environmentalism

Print Reference Sources

Reference Books are a good place to begin your research. You can take notes, or photocopy pages for ten cents a page. These resources are available in the Luria Library Reference section.

  • Encyclopedia of Communication Theory — R 302.203 L779e 2009
  • Concise Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Language and Linguistics — R 401 B878c 2010
  • Encyclopedia of the First Amendment — R 342.73085 V699e 2009
  • Encyclopedia of American Race Riots — R 305.800973 R911e
  • Violence in America: An Encyclopedia — R 303.6 G685v

Online Reference Sources

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


Search the library catalog (books+) for books on your topic. Your search results will include articles as well. Limit to books by choosing the appropriate box from the menu to the left of the results.


Search for articles in the following databases. These resources will require your Pipeline account information when you access them off campus.

  • Academic Search Complete: This database provides full text for more than 8,500 periodicals (magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals), including full text for nearly 7,300 peer-reviewed titles, in all subject areas.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch: Includes journals, magazines, and newspapers from ethnic and minority presses. Ethnicities include: African American/Caribbean/African; Arab/Middle Eastern; Asian/Pacific Islander; European/Eastern European; Hispanic; Jewish; Native People. Best for: Race.
  • Communication and Mass Media Complete: Provides full-text articles from over 450 journals in communication, mass media, and other closely-related fields of study. Best for: Social Media; Language.
  • Environmental Science/GreenFILE: A collection of scholarly, government and general-interest titles covering all aspects of human impact to the environment, including content on global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more. Best for: The Environment.
  • MasterFILE Complete: This database includes the full text of nearly 2,400 periodicals (magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals), over 850 reference books, and more than 100,000 primary source documents in all subject areas, with content dating back to 1917. It also includes more than 1.5 million photos, maps, and flags. Best for: ALL TOPICS.
  • Military & Government Collection: Includes magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals pertaining to all branches of the military, government, and law enforcement. Best for: Domestic Violence; Guns; Race.

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.
  • Opposing Viewpoints: An excellent source of pro/con information, providing opinions and other information on hundreds of today’s hottest social issues.

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.