English 110 – Meisel – Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Click the image to visit Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Mineral website.

About this Guide

This guide provides students with suggested sources for their research in English 110 with Professor Meisel.

Use the tabs above to navigate through the guide.

Your Assignment

An eight-page researched argument essay on a current issue related to food, using at least six reputable sources (including at least one peer-reviewed journal article).

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Keywords

The words you use to describe a topic may be different from the words used by the library catalog and databases. Try some of the search words listed below, or ask a librarian for help choosing the best keywords to use in your search.

  • Crops genetic engineering
  • Famines
  • Farm life
  • Food biotechnology
  • Food consumption
  • Food industry and trade
  • Food relief
  • Food security
  • Food supply
  • Genetically modified foods
  • Hunger
  • Nutrition
  • Nutrition policy
  • Obesity
  • Slow food movement
  • Starvation
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Transgenic plants

Tutorial – Search Keywords

Watch the video below for a short tutorial on keywords.

Video courtesy of Ray Howard Library at Shoreline Community College (CC BY-NC 3.0 US)

Reference Sources

References sources are a good place to get background information on your topic.

Print Reference Sources

These resources are available in the Luria Library Reference section.

  • Encyclopedia of Food and Culture — R 394.12 K19e
  • Oxford Encyclopedia of Food & Drink in America — R 641.3 S642o

Online Reference Sources

This reference source is available online. If you are off campus, you will need to log in with your Pipeline account information:

  • Credo Reference: Contains the full text of nearly 800 encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference books.

Books

Search the library catalog (books+) for print and online books. 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.

Articles

Articles from periodicals (magazines, newspapers, and academic journals) often provide the most current information on a topic. Journal articles are more scholarly and tend to focus on narrow topics, while magazine articles tend to be shorter and more general. Newspaper articles are the most current of the three periodical sources and another good source of information.

To find articles on your topic, use one of the online databases listed below. To access databases from off campus you will need to log-in with your pipeline account number and password.

This general database is a good place to start:

  • Academic Search Premier: Provides articles from periodicals in all subject areas, including thousands of peer-reviewed journals.

These databases provide pro/con information on current and controversial topics:

  • CQ Researcher: Contains single-themed reports with unbiased coverage of controversial issues.
  • Opposing Viewpoints: Provides opinions and other information on hundreds of social issues.

These pages provide links to databases in specific subject areas:

  • Health Databases: Try one of these databases if your topic is related to health or nutrition.
  • Newspaper Databases: Use one of these databases to find full-text articles from regional, national, and international newspapers.
  • Science Databases: Try one of these databases if your topic is related to the science of food.

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?

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

Fact Checking Groups

Recommended Websites

  • USA.gov: The U.S. government’s official web portal.
  • USDA Food Access Research Atlas: An interactive map that “presents a spatial overview of food access indicators for low-income and other census tracts using different measures of supermarket accessibility.”

Advanced Search Tips for Google

Citation Guidelines

Below is a useful resource for creating citations for sources found on the internet and through library databases. More resources are available on the Citation Guides page.