English 110 – Martin
About this Guide
This guide provides students with recommended resources for the research assignments in English 110 with Professor Martin. Use the tabs to navigate through the pages of the guide.
First research paper: Discuss the causes and consequences of a national, local, or global social issue of your choice.
Second research paper: Building upon the first assignment, explore the same social issue in greater depth, following the instructions your instructor provides.
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.
Choosing a Topic
The following reference sources provide you with background information on your topic, and can help in the process of picking a topic, narrowing a topic, and finding keywords and subject headings. These resources are available in the Luria Library Reference section.
Print Reference Sources
- American Countercultures: An Encyclopedia of Nonconformists, Alternative Lifestyles, and Radical Ideas in U.S. History — R 306.1 M678a
- American Immigration: An Encyclopedia of Political, Social, and Cultural Change — R 304.873 C573e 2013
- Crime and Punishment in America: An Encyclopedia of Trends and Controversies in the Justice System — R 364.973 F513c 2017
- Dictionary of American History — R 973.03 A194d 2003
- Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The Social Science of Garbage — R 363.72803 Z76e 2012
- Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Social Issues — R 306.0973 S528e
- Encyclopedia of Politics — R 320.03 C283e
- Encyclopedia of Racism in the United States — R 305.800973 M663e
- Encyclopedia of Social Problems — R 361.1 P261e
- 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.
- Credo Reference: Contains the full text of nearly 600 encyclopedias, dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, and other reference books.
- The Official Guide to American Attitudes: Who Thinks What About the Issues That Shape Our Lives: Ebook
- Encyclopedia of Gangs: Ebook
- Social History of the United States: Ebook
Search the library catalog (books+) for books you can check out on your topic.
If you add the phrase “Social Conditions” to your searches, you will have more successful results.
Use the “Advanced Search” feature to search by SUBJECT. Choose “subject” from the drop-down menu, then enter your terms in the search box.
These resources are available online and will require 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.
- 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 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.
- National Newspapers Expanded: Provides the full text of five of the most read and widely-respected newspapers in the U.S: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, and Washington Post.
For a full list of library databases click here.
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.