English 110 – Oropeza

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, Alabama.

About this Guide

Students will find recommended print and electronic sources for students to conduct research exploring the development of a human rights issue or organization. Follow the tabs above to find help, specific tools, and searching techniques.

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Have a question? Stop by the Reference Desk, or contact a librarian by phone, email, or chat for more help.Contact Us

Library Tutorials

Interested in learning more about the library on your own? Explore the library’s online tutorials.

Choose a Topic

These resources are available in the Luria Library Reference section and provide an excellent starting point for your research, including choosing a topic.

You can search for people, issues, countries, documents, movements, and controversies.

  • Basic Documents on Human Rights – R 323.4 B885b
  • Encyclopedia of Human Rights – R 323.4 F735e 2009
  • Encyclopedia of the United Nations – R 341.23 M822e

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 you can check out 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. To find the best articles for this class, use the databases listed in the “Articles” section of this guide.

Hints When Searching for Books:

If you use quotation marks around phrases, your search will be more specific, such as “women and microfinance.”

Not Finding Any Books?

Consider broader topics, and redo your search:

  • human rights
  • international organizations
  • nongovernmental organizations
  • development
  • developing countries

Interlibrary Loan

If you allow yourself time, and if the Luria Library does not have the book (or an article) you need, we can borrow it through Interlibrary loan from another library. Interlibrary loan is a free service for students. Use the online Interlibrary Loan Request Form to request your items. Be sure to request loans early in the research process as loans can take three to ten days.

Search for Periodical Articles:

Academic Search Complete
Provides full text for more than 8,500 periodicals (magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals), including full text for nearly 7,300 peer-reviewed titles, in all subject areas. The database includes PDF content going back as far as 1887. Searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,400 journals.

Search for Current Events and Debate Sources:

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. Each 12,000-word report includes: an introductory overview; background and chronology on the topic; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources. Offers access to CQ Researcher reports dating back to 1991.

Opposing Viewpoints
An excellent source of pro/con information, providing opinions and other information on hundreds of today’s hottest social issues. Includes continuously updated viewpoint articles, topic overviews, full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, statistics, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites.

Search for Newspaper Articles:

Several databases with searchable full-text versions of many of the largest papers You might choose the National Newspapers or, if you are focusing on one country, select the link to the International Newspapers.

Search for Scholarly Journal Articles:

Contains articles from hundreds of scholarly journals covering a wide range of subjects in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Full text articles are available, from the first issue (sometimes going back over 100 years) until five years ago. Note: The Luria Library subscription includes three of JSTOR’s collections: Arts & Sciences II; Arts & Sciences III; and Life Sciences; and the following individual journals: Asian Survey; Film Quarterly; Mathematics Magazine; Nineteenth-Century Literature; and The Western Historical Quarterly.

Project MUSE
Provides complete, full-text versions of scholarly journals in subject areas such as: ethnic studies; art and architecture; literature; education; film; theatre and performing arts; history; language; medicine and health; philosophy; religion; science, technology, and math; social sciences; and gender and sexuality. Contains over 525 journals, 335 of which are full text. An good source of scholarly articles for advanced literary criticism.

Highlighted Article:

“Pie + Design Change” by John Edge. New York Times Magazine (Oct 10, 2010): 58-62.

See the Luria Library’s database descriptions page for a full list of library databases.

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?

Recommended Websites

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

  • United Nations Official page for the United Nations hosting a great deal of searchable information on current projects and issues.


Podcasts can provide information on current social issues and give you expert analysis.