ESL 134 – Thibault

About this guide

This guide provides students with recommended print and online research resources for ESL 124 with Professor Wood. Use the tabs above to navigate through the pages of the guide.

Your assignment

Research and write about a controversial topic. Find three articles to support your opinion about the topic.

Paper Writing Assistance

About SBCC’s Writing Center
The SBCC Learning Resource center writing tools online

Need more help?

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


These are common words you’ll hear in the library and when you do research for a paper.

  • Academic journal: A periodical written for students, teachers, researchers, or other professionals in a particular field. (See “Periodicals” and “Scholarly journal.”)
  • Audiobooks: Books you can listen to. (See “Book on CD.”)
  • Author: The writer of a book or article.
  • Autobiography: The story of the author’s own life. (See “Author.”)
  • Biography: A true story about someone’s life.
  • Books on CD: Books you can listen to. (See “Audiobooks.”)
  • Borrow: To take home library materials for a short time. (See “Check out.”)
  • Browse: To look around the library to find books and other materials.
  • Call number: The number typed on the spine of the book. The call number is like the address for where the book belongs on the shelf, so it helps you find the book in the library.
  • Catalog: An online, searchable list of the books, periodicals, and other materials the library has.
  • Check out: To take home library materials for a short time. (See “Borrow.”)
  • Circulating book: A book you can check out of the library and take home. (See “Check out.”)
  • Circulation: The place in the library where you can borrow (or check out) library materials.
  • Database: An online collection of articles or other materials.
  • Due date: The date by which you must return the library materials you borrowed (or checked out).
  • Encyclopedia: A book or set of books with a summary of events and facts.
  • ESL materials: Books to help you learn to read in English.
  • Fiction: Stories and novels.
  • Fine: Money you might owe if you do not return library materials on time. (See “Late fees.”)
  • Keyword: A word describing your topic, which you use to search for library materials in the catalog or databases. (See “Catalog” and “Database.”)
  • ISBN: The International Standard Book Number, which is a unique number assigned to each edition of a book.
  • Late fees: Money you might owe if you do not return library materials on time. (See “Fine.”)
  • Librarian: The professional who answers your questions in the library.
  • Magazine: A kind of periodical, usually written for a general audience. (See “Periodical.”)
  • Non-fiction: True stories or facts.
  • Periodicals: Materials that are published on a regular schedule, like newspapers, magazines, and academic/scholarly journals. Examples include: The Los Angeles Times (a newspaper); Consumer Reports (a magazine); and Journal of Applied Psychology (academic/scholarly journal).
  • Reference desk: The place in the library where you can ask a librarian for help. (See “Librarian.”)
  • Reference materials: Dictionaries, encyclopedias and other resources that include definitions, summaries of events, and other factual information. You must must use reference materials in the library. (See “Encyclopedia.”)
  • Research guide: An online or paper list of resources or instructions that will help you complete your research for a particular class, assignment, or topic.
  • Reserve items: Materials your teacher selects for you to read in the library. Reserve items are available at Circulation, or online. (See “Circulation.”)
  • Scholarly journal: A periodical written for students, teachers, researchers, or other professionals in a particular field. (See “Periodicals” and “Academic journal.”)
  • Spine: The side of a book. Most library books have a label with the call number on the spine. (See “Spine.”)
  • Subject: What the book is about.
  • Title: The name of a book or article.

Print Reference Sources

Reference books provide background information on a topic. Good resources on a variety of topics are available in the Luria Library Reference section. Look for your topic in the book listed below, or ask a librarian for help finding the best reference source for your research topic.

  • Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Social Issues – R 306.0973 S528e 2011

Online Reference Sources

To access this resource from off campus, you will need to log in with your Pipeline username and password.

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

Find Books

Search the library catalog to find books in the library and eBooks available online. Ask a librarian if you need extra help finding books on your topic.

When searching for books on a topic, take a minute to brainstorm words related to your topic. For example, if your research is about whether Facebook is good or bad, you might search using some combination of these words:

    facebook, social media, social networking, social networks
    benefits, uses, impact, consequences
    relationships, society, interpersonal communication, social aspects
    technology, innovations, computers, computing

After brainstorming, you’re ready to search in the library catalog. String a few keywords together with the word “and” as in the examples below:

    social media and consequences
    facebook and impact
    technology and social aspects

Find Articles

Search for articles from periodicals (magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals) in the following Luria Library online databases. From off campus, you will need to log in using your Pipeline username and password.

If your topic has to do with a current or controversial issue, try searching for information in one of these databases:

  • CQ Researcher Provides expert, clearly written articles on contemporary topics and controversial issues addressed in a balanced and unbiased manner.
  • Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center Provides background information and opinions on hundreds of today’s hottest social issues.

For articles from periodicals on any topic, try these databases:

  • Academic Search Premier 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.
  • Primary Search A good source for ESL (English as a Second Language) students. Provides full text for more than 70 popular magazines for elementary school research, as well as a collection of photos, maps, and flags. All full text articles included in the database are assigned a reading level indicator (Lexiles). Full text information dates as far back as 1990. Note: Primary Search is also available through the Searchasaurus interface, which is designed for elementary school students.
  • Newspaper Databases

Tips and Tricks

    When searching for articles on a topic, take a minute to brainstorm words related to your topic. For example, if you’re research is about health care issues in the United States, you might search using some combination of these words:

      health care, health insurance, universal health care, medical, medicine
      national health programs, united states
      benefits, impact, consequences, social aspects, debate
      children, families, women

    After brainstorming, you’re ready to search in the databases listed above. String a few keywords together as in the examples below. Use the word “and” to separate keywords:

      health care and united states and debate
      national health programs and impact and united states
      health insurance and social aspects and women

    Use the tools in the database to help generate citations for the articles you find. Ask a librarian in person, by phone or through chat if you need help learning to use these tools.


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?

Recommended Websites:

How to Cite

MLA citation style is most typically used when writing papers in the liberal arts or humanities. MLA is the recommended citation style for this class.

Citation Guides

The MLA formatting and style guide from Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab is a great resource to help you create citations in MLA format. See the links below for further guidance citing different types of sources. For additional help creating citations for websites, consult this guide on website citations from Camosun College.

Citation Tools