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English 101 (College Writing) Research Guide: O'Neal Argumentative Paper

Recommended databases

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Search tips

Search tips

  • Most of the library's databases are not completely full text, so please check the box to limit to full text if the database provides one. Generally speaking, if there is no full text checkbox, then the database contains all full text sources (ex. Gale eBooks).
  • Search with keywords, not sentences:
    • Full sentence: Should we be worried that all of these Internet-connected devices in our homes may be spying on us? (This is an example of a topic that falls under the suggested general subject area of Issues of Privacy in the Digital World.)
    • Major concepts: "internet of things" and privacy
    • Tip: When using "basic search" put an and between terms. You can also switch from "basic search" to "advanced search" in any database to search more than one term at once by filling in the search boxes.
    • Be flexible about search terms. Think of synonyms and related terms you can try if your initial search strategy doesn't produce the results you want. You may need to use different terms for different databases.
  • The types of sources you find will depend on the databases you search:
    • For research studies try Academic Search Premier. If applicable to your topic, try ProQuest Education Journals, ERIC, or Health Source - Nursing/Academic Edition. You will need to limit to peer reviewed or scholarly journals to see studies and the like.
    • For opinion pieces and sources arranged by subject, try Opposing Viewpoints.
    • For articles written for a general audience, check out ProQuest Newspapers, and, if applicable to your topic, the magazines from Health Source - Consumer Edition.
    • For in-depth reports on controversial topics try CQ Researcher.
    • For background information on topics, Gale eBooks is a great place to start, but the encyclopedias in this database will not count towards the required number of research sources.
  • Many of the databases will show a suggested MLA citation. It's fine to start with these citations, but it is your responsibility to check them for accuracy and make corrections based on the library's MLA handouts, the Pocket Style Manual, etc. Click on the Citing Sources tab at the top of this guide for access to MLA handouts, tutorials, and more.

Tip: 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.