ENG1001: Principles of Writing
It is a good idea to ground yourself in your topic by getting a general overview. Reference books like dictionaries and encyclopedias help you understand the context of your topic and give you a sense of the terms, people, institutions, and prominent events involved. These can all serve as important keywords to use when searching for books and articles.
Credo is a database made up of hundreds of encyclopedias and reference sources. It’s a great first stop to help you define and understand your topic.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context
This database presents overviews of controversial topics and provides a wide range of articles, reports, audio and more detailing the various sides of each issue. Do a search on your topic and choose the results under the Reference tag.
Bank, B. J., Delamont, S., & Marshall, C. (2007). Gender and education: An encyclopedia. Westport, Conn: Praeger Publishers.
Ref LC213 .G425 2007
Callicott, J. B., & Frodeman, R. (2009). Encyclopedia of environmental ethics and philosophy. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA
Ref GE42 .E533 2009
Lerner, B. W., & Lerner, K. L. (2008). Climate change: In context. Farmington Hills, Mich: Gale, Cengage Learning.
Ref QC981.8.C5 C5114123 2008
Staples, W. G. (2007). Encyclopedia of privacy. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press
Ref JC596.2.U5 E53 2007
Svendsen, C., & Ebert, A. D. (2008). Encyclopedia of stem cell research. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.
Ref QH588.S83 E53 2008
Vaidya, A. K. (2006). Globalization: Encyclopedia of trade, labor, and politics. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.
Ref HF1359 .G5854 2006
These are recommended databases to get you started searching for articles in specific subject areas. In each database you can limit your search by date.
- Opposing Viewpoints in Context This database presents overviews of controversial topics and provides a wide range of articles, reports, audio and more detailing the various sides of each issue.
- National Newspapers Premier Searches full text newspapers from across the country.
- ProQuest Research Library This is a good all-purpose database with many full text articles from scholarly journals as well as magazines and newspapers. It covers a wide range of subjects.
If you want to expand your search, you can browse all of our available databases by subject.
Books in the Main Stacks
The main stacks (or “Oakdale Circulating”) contain the bulk of the books that you can check out. Search your topic by keyword in the library catalog to find books. Search phrases in quotes (“climate change”). Keep in mind any alternative ways of describing your topic.
Search the Library catalog to find books that you can check out and ebooks that you can download or read online. (See our FAQ for more info on using the ebook collection.)
You can search for books in a number of ways:
Keyword searches: “medical ethics”
look for your keywords anywhere in the catalog description of a book (usually this search is the broadest as it will pick up even minor mentions of your topic). Put quotes around phrases for more accurate results. Combine keywords with AND to narrow your search. Combine keywords with OR to broaden your search.
Subject searches: Animal Rights
find any book on a certain subject BUT “subjects” are defined by the Library of Congress and may not be the words you think they should be. (So it’s Mythology, Greek not Greek Mythology).
Title search: Abortion
finds any book with that word in the title. (A quick but not foolproof way to find relevant books on your keyword/topic).
Think about the ways you could describe your topic and try searching by those keywords in the library catalog. Use reference sources to come up with ideas.
Citing Your Resources
Doing ethical research means citing sources. It is critical to credit writers for their work and their contributions to your research. To not do so is unethical and leads to plagiarism - unintentionally or not. In this class you will be using MLA style.
Basic citation guide.
NoodleBib is an online resource that will help you format MLA and APA bibliographies, exporting them directly to your word processing program.
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