English 111 – Menendez – Force Continuum

About this Guide

This guide provides recommended resources for students to conduct research for Essay 2 for English 111 with Dr. Melissa Mendendez. Use the tabs to navigate through the pages of the guide.

Your Assignment

Select one of eight topics, provided by Dr. Menendez, related to Force Continuum by Kia Corthron. Use Critical Race Theory, and information from your own research into the social, political, and cultural context of the play, to analyze the particular aspect of the play described in the prompt. You must use at least four credible secondary sources written by scholars or journalists, in addition to the Critical Race Theory material from the Purdue Owl. Only one source may be an online-only source.

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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

Library Tutorials

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

Choosing Keywords to Use in Your Search

Keywords are the words you type into a search box to search for information on your topic. The words you use to describe your topic may be different from the words used in 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.

Watch the video below for a short tutorial on keywords, including some good strategies for combining them.

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

Finding Background Information

Reference sources are an excellent starting point for your research. They can provide background information, and help you identify keywords to use when searching for books and articles. You can try googling background information, or use the lib

Online Reference Sources

If you access this resource from off campus, you will be prompted to log in with your Pipeline account information:

Finding Books

Search the library catalog (books+) for books on your topic. Your results list may include print books held in the library, ebooks you can access online, and articles. Use the limiters in the left column to limit your search to books.

Finding Articles

You can find articles from periodicals (magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals) through the library catalog (books+) or by searching library databases directly. Databases will require you to log in with your Pipeline account information when you access them off campus. Ask a librarian for help choosing the best database for your topic, or see the Luria Library’s database descriptions page for a full list of library databases. Start by trying one of the databases below:

General Databases

  • Academic Search Complete
    Provides full text for more than 8,500 periodicals, including full text for nearly 7,300 peer-reviewed titles, in all subject areas.
  • Project MUSE
    Includes the full text of 400 scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences.
  • JSTOR
    Includes full text articles from scholarly journals in all subject areas.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch
    Includes journals, magazines, and newspapers from ethnic and minority presses.

Literature Databases

The Luria Library’s literature databases do not include literary criticism of Kia Corthron’s work, but might find it useful to explore how literary critics explore broader topics such as race in the United States.

  • Artemis
    Includes primary sources, critical articles, literary and cultural analysis, and biographies.

Finding Statistical Information

For links to sources of statistical information, use this research guide:

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 and appropriate for your specific information need:

  • 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.