English 110 – Walker
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This guide provides recommended print and online resources for students to conduct research for the Essay 4 Research Paper for English 110 with Cynthia Walker. Use the tabs to navigate through the pages of the guide.
A 7-8 page research paper on a current social or environmental issue that concerns you. The topic should be one that 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.
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
- gun control
- human rights
- gay rights
- air quality
- climatic changes
- fossil fuels
- global warming
- nature – effect of human beings on
- refuse and refuse disposal
- renewable energy sources
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 keywords to use when searching for books and articles.
Print Reference Sources
The following books 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
Online Reference Sources
These reference sources are available online and may require you to log in with your Pipeline account information:
Search the library catalog for books you can check out on your topic. The catalog also includes ebooks you can access from anywhere with an internet connection. 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.
- Try adding the phrase “social conditions” to your search.
- Try searching for an author’s name (last name first) by SUBJECT BROWSE.
Search for articles in the following databases. These resources will require your Pipeline account information when you access them off campus.
- Academic Search Complete: Provides abstracts for articles from nearly 13,200 periodicals (journals, magazines, and newspapers) in all subject areas, and full text articles from nearly 8,750 periodicals, including more than 7,550 peer-reviewed journals. Searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,400 journals. Full text PDF content dates back as far as 1887.
- Environmental Science/GreenFILE: A collection of scholarly, government and general-interest titles covering all aspects of human impact to the environment, including content on global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more.
- GREENR: Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources offers authoritative content on the development of emerging green technologies and discusses issues on the environment, sustainability and more.
For pro/con information on current or controversial issues, try searching one of these databases:
- 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.
For newspaper articles, try searching one of these sources:
- National Newspapers: (searches the following papers: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, and Washington Post
- Newspaper Source: (Provides cover-to-cover full text for 35 national & international newspapers. The database also contains selective full text for more than 375 regional (U.S.) newspapers. In addition, full text television & radio news transcripts are also provided.)
See the Luria Library’s database descriptions page for a full list of library databases, or ask a librarian for the best database to use for your topic.
Podcasts of interview-based radio shows can give you information about current events and issues.
Finding good websites for college research can be difficult and time-consuming. Use the C.A.R.S. system to evaluate any websites you find:
- Credibility: Is an author listed? What are the author’s credentials? Is there evidence of positive peer evaluation?
- Accuracy: Is the date of the site current? Is the information complete and not too vague? Does the author acknowledge all views?
- Reasonableness: Is the author fair and objective? Is the author concerned with the truth?
- Support: Does the author provide support for the information? Are the sources listed?
Consider using some of the recommended websites below.
Directories of reliable websites:
- Infomine: A directory of scholarly websites.
- ipl2: “Information you can trust,” compiled by librarians and other educators.
Lists of social topics and a few good websites for each:
For more websites, see the Luria Library’s Internet Links page.