English 110 – Garcia – Academic Texts

diagram of issues related to addiction

About this Guide

This guide provides students with recommended resources for conducting research for Writing Project 2 in English 110 with Professor Garcia.

Use the tabs to navigate through the pages of the guide.

Your Assignment

A research paper in which you will explore the same topic from two different perspectives, using scholarly sources. You may select two sources from either different academic disciplines (e.g. history and psychology) or from the same one. You will analyze a scholarly publication for each author in the form of either a book or scholarly journal article, and will make an original argument about how each scholar approaches your topic.

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, text, or chat for more help. Find our contact information on the right side of this page.Contact Us

Choosing a Topic

Reference sources are a great place to start, to get topic ideas and to get background information on a variety of topics.

Print Reference Books

These resources are available in the Luria Library Reference section.

  • The official guide to American attitudes: who thinks what about the issues that shape our lives — R 303.380973 M682o
  • Encyclopedia of social issues — R 306.0973 R 845e
  • Encyclopedia of contemporary American social issues — R306.0973 S528e
  • Social history of the United States — 306.0973 W186e
  • American countercultures : an encyclopedia of nonconformists, alternative lifestyles, and radical ideas in U.S. history — R 306.1 M678a
  • Encyclopedia of politics — R 320.03 C283e
  • Encyclopedia of social problems — R 361.1 P261e
  • Encyclopedia of crime and punishment — R 364.03 L665e
  • Dictionary of American history — R 973.03 A194d 2003

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. Click on “Find Topic Pages” for topic ideas in various disciplines.


Sometimes the words you use will be different from the words used by the library catalog and databases.

Try experimenting with different ways of describing the same thing. For example, what are different ways to describe drug abuse?

Include words related to the disciplinary perspective that interests you, such as:

    drug abuse biology
    drug abuse psychology
    drug abuse law
    drug abuse history

If you have trouble finding information on your topic from the perspective that interests you, ask a librarian for help choosing the best keywords to use in your search.


Search the library catalog for your topic. To limit to books, choose the appropriate box from the menu to the left of your search results.

The call number for the book will help you determine the perspective from which it is written:

    000 – General works, Computer science and Information
    100 – Philosophy and psychology
    200 – Religion
    300 – Social sciences
    400 – Language
    500 – Science
    600 – Technology
    700 – Arts & recreation
    800 – Literature
    900 – History & geography

For ebooks, which have no call number, use the subject headings to determine the perspective from which the book is written.

You might also want to investigate the author’s expertise. Is s/he a biologist? A historian? A psychologist?

Magazine vs. Journal Articles

Before you search, you need to know the difference between “magazine” and “journal” articles. Journals are also referred to as “peer-reviewed” or “scholarly” sources.

A brief explanation can be found here:


Use the following databases to find periodical articles. These resources will require your Pipeline account information when you access them off campus.

  • Academic Search Premier: Includes articles from periodicals in all subject areas, including thousands of peer-reviewed journals. You will need to limit your results to scholarly sources.
  • JSTOR Contains articles from hundreds of scholarly journals covering a wide range of subjects in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Most of the articles in JSTOR come from scholarly sources.

If you’re not sure what disciplinary perspective an author represents, look at the title of the journal where the article was published for clues. For example, and article about drug abuse that was published in JAMA: The journal of the American Medical Association probably comes from a medical or biological perspective, whereas an article published in Journal of Community Psychology probably comes from a psychology perspective. The author’s area of expertise can give you clues as well, just as with books.

See the Luria Library’s database descriptions page to select databases by discipline, or to browse a full list of library databases. If you’re not sure which databases is the best for your topic, ask a librarian for help.

MLA Citation Guidelines