ESL 134 – Wahlberg

About this guide

This guide provides students with recommended print and online research resources for ESL 134 with Professor Wahlberg. 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.

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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.”)
  • Article: A piece of writing written for publication in an academic journal, magazine, or newspaper.
  • 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.”)
  • Checkout desk / circulation desk: 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 the Checkout desk, or online. (See “Checkout desk / circulation desk”)
  • 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.


Sometimes the words you use to describe a topic are 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.

Coral reefs:

  • Coral reef conservation
  • Coral reef destruction
  • Ocean acidification
  • Coral bleaching
  • Coral reef ecology
  • Marine pollution
  • Climate change
  • Coral reef recovery
  • Coral reef restoration

Deforestation or desertification:

  • Deforestation and climate change
  • Desertification impacts
  • Afforestation and reforestation
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Forest management
  • Forest ecology
  • Desert restoration
  • Desert ecology
  • Arid regions

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 environmental issues — R 363.7003 A4346e 2011
  • Encyclopedia of world environmental history — R 363.7003 K92e
  • Encyclopedia of environmental science — R 363.7003 M743e

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.


Search the library catalog using the books+ tab to find books in the library and eBooks available online. Try searching with some of the words listed under the Keywords tab in this guide, or ask a librarian if you need help finding books on your topic.


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.

  • Academic Search Premier Provides full text periodical articles in all subject areas.
  • Primary Search A good source for ESL students. All full text articles included in the database are assigned a reading level indicator (Lexiles).

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.
  • Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center Another excellent source of pro/con information, providing opinions and other information on hundreds of today’s hottest social issues.

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.

Citation Guides

When writing a research paper, you will often borrow facts, statements, or opinions from another author. Sometimes you will be using the exact same words as the author (quoting) and at other times you may change the wording slightly while still communicating the same idea (paraphrasing). In either case, you are required to inform the reader of who and what source you are quoting or paraphrasing from. This process is called, “citing” or using “citations.”

For this paper, you will be required to cite the sources you used to help you write the paper.

For examples on how to create citations for your Works Cited page and how to cite sources in-text visit: Camosun College MLA Guide