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English 101 (College Writing) Research Guide: Gertz Cause and Effect Essay

Cause & Effect: Recommended databases

Start here

Looking for ideas?

Need an idea for a controversial topic to write about? Each of these links leads to a list of different social and cultural issues and some background info about them.

How to use Films on Demand

In addition to streaming sites you subscribe to, you can find documentaries from HBO, PBS, and BBC through the library database Films on Demand! Watch them off-campus using your Carroll email address and password. The video below is a short intro on how to use this database.

Search strategies

General search tips

  • Search with keywords, not sentences:
    • Full sentence: Does American social media use weaken our democracy?
    • Major concepts: "social media" and democracy
  • Use Advanced search to search more than one term at once.
  • Think of synonyms and related ideas and try them in different combinations.
  • The types of sources you find will depend on the databases you search:
    • For research studies try Academic Search Premier.
    • For opinion pieces, try Opposing Viewpoints.
    • For articles written for a general audience, check out ProQuest Newspapers, and the magazines in Academic Search Premier.
    • For background information on topics, Gale eBooks is a great place to start.

Research is a trial and error process, and librarians are happy to help you brainstorm or find articles! Chat with us during library hours, or Email anytime.

Where to find documentaries

Tips for finding a documentary on your topic

  • Search Films on Demand
    • Remember to keep your search simple. Searching concussions and football will get you more results than preventing concussions in high school football
  • Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime have documentaries available with subscriptions
  • Youtube is a free option
  • Google search "free documentaries for [your topic]"
  • Kanopy is another resource that you have access to as a student. See instructions below to sign up for a Kanopy account with CCPL

Kanopy (CCPL)

Kanopy logo

Kanopy is a free resource for viewing selected films, documentaries and shows. It is provided by the Carroll County Public Library and you must create an account using your CCPL library card.