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About this Guide

This guide provides SPARC students with suggested sources for researching student scholarships and career development. Use the tabs above to navigate through the guide.

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SBCC Legal Resources

SBCC is pleased to offer access to an attorney for FREE legal education and advice to SBCC’s currently enrolled students. The attorney is located on the main campus in the Office of Student Life (CC-217) on Fridays from 1:30 – 4:00 by appointment, and drop-ins are seen if time permits. Students can call (805) 730-4062 or email, to schedule an appointment.

The attorney can speak with students about criminal matters, immigration issues, landlord/tenant/roommate disputes, consumer issues, family law, traffic tickets, personal injury, credit/debt problems, small claims, and other areas of law. The service is not available for students experiencing an issue with another student, or with the college. Contact the Office of Student Life to schedule an appointment today.


The words you use to describe a topic may be different from the words used by the library catalog and databases.
Try some of the search words listed below, or ask a librarian for help choosing the best keywords to use in your search.

  • Scholarships
  • Financial aid
  • College applications
  • Exposition (Rhetoric)
  • Careers
  • Career education
  • Career development
  • College majors
  • Universities and colleges
  • Employment
  • Occupations
  • Career skills
  • Professional skills
  • Vocational training
  • Vocational guidance
  • Certification programs
  • Job hunting
  • Internships
  • Study skills
  • Student success

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

Reference Sources

References sources are a good place to get background information on your topic.

Print Reference Sources

These resources are available in the Luria Library Reference section:

  • Occupational Outlook Handbook — R 371.425 U58
  • Getting Financial Aid — R 378.3 C697c
  • Peterson’s How to Get Money for College: Financing Your Future Beyond Federal Aid — R 378.3 S338c 2008
  • College Student’s Guide to Merit and Other No-need Funding, 2008-2010 — R 378.3 P485p
  • Complete Book of Colleges — R 378.73 P957c 2010
  • The College Blue Book — R 378.73 C697
  • Job Hunter’s Sourcebook: Where to Find Employment Leads and Other Job Search Resources — R 331.128 G151j 2015

Online Reference Sources

These reference sources are available online. If you are off campus, you will need to log in with your Pipeline account information:


Search the library catalog (books+) for print and online books. 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.


Articles from periodicals (magazines, newspapers, and academic journals) often provide the most current information on a topic. Journal articles are more scholarly and tend to focus on narrow topics, while magazine articles tend to be shorter and more general. Newspaper articles are the most current of the three periodical sources.

To find articles on your topic, use one of the online databases listed below.
To access databases from off campus you will need to log-in with your pipeline account number and password.

Explore the library’s complete list of databases to discover more topics including education, health and medicine, science, art, auto repair, and more.

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 Guide

The citation tools in the library catalog and databases format citations for library sources.
The links below provide examples of MLA citations so you can check the format of a citation or create your own citation.

Contact a librarian if you have any questions about citation or avoiding plagiarism.

Visit the library’s Citation Guides for more information about other citation styles.