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.

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Need More Help?

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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 Premier: a multi-disciplinary database providing full text for more than 4,600 journals, including full text for nearly 3,900 peer-reviewed titles. Best for: ALL TOPICS.
  • 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 Premier: a multi-disciplinary database providing full text for nearly 1,700 periodicals (magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals), covering general reference, business, health, education, general science, and multicultural issues. 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

Any source you find, whether it is online or in a library search tool must meet your assignment requirements. On this page you will find some tips on how to evaluate your sources to identify if t appropriate for your research using our P.R.O.V.E.N. Test:

  • Purpose: The reason the information exists
  • Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs
  • Objectivity: The reasonableness of the information
  • Verifiability: The truthfulness and accuracy of the information
  • Expertise: The source of the information
  • Newness: The timeliness of the information

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

How to Cite

As of July 2016 the MLA has introduced the 8th edition to their style guide. Over the upcoming months databases and services that provide citations will be adopting and implementing these changes to their services based on the latest revisions. Contact your instructor for the edition that is required for your coursework.

MLA, 7th Edition

MLA, 8th Edition