English 110 – S. Starkey

social issues word map

About this guide

This guide provides students with recommended resources for Research Papers 2 and 3. Use the tabs to navigate through the pages of the guide.

Your Assignment

Research papers on a social issue (local, national, or global) of your choice.

The short paper, 4 pages, defines the social problem and its causes, as well as begins to explore its consequences. The expanded paper, 7-8 pages, adds more on consequences and addresses possible responses or solutions.

The topic should be one that really interests you, one that allows you to draw upon a range of sources, and one that can be explored in a paper of just 7 to 8 pages in length. Also, you will need to develop an argument or interpretation rather than simply present information from your sources.

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

Choosing a Topic

The following resources will help assist with picking a topic, narrowing a topic, and finding keywords and subject headings. 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
  • Violence in America : an encyclopedia R 303.6 G685v
  • Protest, power, and change : an encyclopedia of nonviolent action from ACT-UP to women’s suffrage R 303.61 P888p
  • Encyclopedia of racism in the United States R 305.800973 M663e
  • 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
  • Encyclopedia of gangs R 364.1066 K82e
  • Dictionary of American history R 973.03 A194d 2003

Electronic Reference Sources

These resources are available online. If you access these resource from off campus, you will be prompted to enter your Pipeline username and password.

  • Credo Reference: Contains the full text of nearly 600 encyclopedias, dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, and other reference books.

Books

Finding books on your subject

Search the library catalog for books you can check out on your topic.

Hints:

If you add the phrase “Social Conditions” to your searches, you will have more successful results.

If you search for your author by SUBJECT BROWSE in the library catalog, you will have more successful results.

Databases

Find articles from periodical databases:

Search your topic in:

Search for current event articles in this database of one periodical title:

Search for newspaper articles in:

Other databases you can search within:

For a full list of library databases click here.

The library recommends these databases for more resources, including articles, broadcast, reference books:

Podcasts

Explore a podcast:

Videos

Explore your topic in a TEDTalk:

Websites

Evaluating Websites

Finding good websites for college research can be challenging and time-consuming. Be sure to evaluate any websites you find on your own, using the P.R.O.V.E.N. Test for Evaluating Sources:

  • Purpose: The reason the information exists
  • Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs
  • Objectivity: The reasonableness of the information
  • Verifiability: The truthfulness and accuracy of the information
  • Expertise: The source of the information
  • Newness: The timeliness of the information

Search engines which offer results reviewed by others:

Lists of social topics and a few good websites for each:

Sources of academic websites: