English 110 – Harriston – Human Rights
About this guide
This guide provides resources for students conducting research on human rights topics for English 110 with Professor Harriston. Use the tabs to navigate through the pages of the guide.
A persuasive/argumentative 4-6 page research paper on a human rights issue, using at least three credible sources from library resources or reliable websites.
Paper writing assistance
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.
The words you use to describe a 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.
- capital punishment
- child soldiers
- civil rights
- human rights
- human trafficking
- gay rights
- women’s rights
For more ideas on human rights topics and keywords click:
United Nations Universal Human Rights Instruments
Reference sources are a great place to start to get topic ideas, narrow a topic you’ve already chosen, get background information, and help you identify more keywords to use when searching for books and articles.
Print Reference Sources
The following books are available in the Luria Library Reference section.
- Basic Documents on Human Rights – R 323.4 B885b
- Encyclopedia of Human Rights – R 323.4 F735e
Online Reference Sources
This reference source is available online and will require you to log in with your Pipeline account information from off campus:
- Credo Reference: Includes the full text of over 760 reference books.
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 you to login with your Pipeline account information when you access them off campus.
- Academic Search Premier: Provides full text for more than 4,600 periodicals (magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals) in a wide range of disciplines.
- CountryWatch: Contains information about countries, including detailed geographical, political, economic, corporate, and environmental briefings. Tip: After selecting a country, choose Human Rights from the Political Overview section on the left side of the screen.
For pro/con information on controversial issues, try searching one of these databases:
- CQ Researcher: 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.
- Opposing Viewpoints: Provides opinions and other information on hundreds of social issues, including viewpoint articles, topic overviews, full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, statistics, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted 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?
For more help locating reliable information online, see the Finding Credible Web Sources research guide.