ENGL 185: Seminar on Exposition and Argument
Locating Articles (Databases & Indexes)
Please see our Glossary for definitions of common library terms. For tips on beginning a research project, look at the Getting Started guide.
The library's online catalog, providing access to books, journals, music, and movies in the library. Books in the library are arranged according to the Library of Congress Classification system, which is different from the Dewey Decimal system you probably used in high school.
Browse the Reference collection to find general and specialized encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbooks that can provide background information on your topic or some aspect of it.
General Reference Works:
Encyclopedia Britannica (2010)
Ref AE5 .E363 2010
Oxford Reference Online
Examples of Other Reference Works:
Climate Change Reference Guide (2009)
Ref QC981.8.C5 M3895 2009
The Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions (2009)
Ref KF4548.5 .O97 2009
The Sage Encyclopedia of Terrorism (2011)
Ref HV6431 .S225 2011
You can locate other general and subject-related encyclopedias and dictionaries through MaconCat by searching your topic and adding the word "encyclopedias." Many Dictionaries & Thesauri and Encyclopedias & Almanacs are also available online.
Locating Articles (Databases & Indexes)
Before you begin looking for articles, make sure you know if you want popular or scholarly sources.
Academic Search Complete (1988 to present, some full-text)
Articles from selected popular magazines and scholarly journals in all disciplines.
OmniFile Full Text Mega (some full text; most 1994 to present, with some 1982 to present)
Articles from scholarly and popular sources in all disciplines.
LexisNexis Academic (dates vary by publication, full text)
Provides access to newspapers, newswires, transcripts, and business and legal information. It is an excellent source for full-text newspaper articles. Click on "All News" in the News search box for more options.
Salon and Slate
These are two of the most well-known online-only news magazines.
Once you know which articles you are looking for, they will be available in the library or in another database. Search
Journals A-Z to find them, and see How to Find a Periodical Article or ask a librarian if you need help.
Books and articles our library does not own can be obtained from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan. Allow sufficient time for processing. Average turnaround time is 3–5 days for articles and 3–14 days for books, excluding holidays and weekends. Submit ILL requests well in advance of deadlines.
Here are a few other places you may want to look for sources on your topic.
Google Blog Search
Search blog entries on the web.
Google Video, Yahoo! Screen, Bing Videos
Use these sites to find videos on the web, including those on YouTube and other sites.
PBS Streaming Video Collection (access through MaconCat)
Hundreds of hours of streaming video content from PBS, including programming from series such as Frontline, NOVA, and The American Experience.
ipl2 (merger of Internet Public Library and Librarians' Internet Index)
Features thousands of librarian-selected websites on all topics.
Search for news and other media from 1996 to present.
Associations, Organizations, & Government Agencies (R-MC)
The U.S. government's official web portal. Use it to find legislative committees, national statistics, and other information on the Federal level. It also links to state government information.
Reference Quicklinks: Issues and Controversies (R-MC)
Guide to finding articles, reports, books, websites, and other information about controversial issues.
Evaluating Sources (R-MC)
Criteria to consider and questions to ask about the print and internet sources you find.
Is it POPULAR or is it SCHOLARLY? (R-MC)
Critical Evaluation of Internet Resources (University of Alberta Libraries)
Evaluating Web Pages:
Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask (University of California Berkeley)
Internet Detective (Virtual Training Suite)
An interactive tutorial with tips and techniques for doing research on the internet.
The major citation manuals are available at the Reference Desk.
Citing Full-Text from Library Databases (R-MC)
Cite Source: MLA Style (Trinity College)
Explains in detail how to create MLA citations for a variety of sources.
Citing in MLA, APA, and Chicago Styles (R-MC)
KnightCite (Calvin College)
Automatically formats citation information according to MLA, APA, or Chicago styles. Be sure to double-check the result for accuracy!
The Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab)
Includes information and examples for MLA, APA, and Chicago styles.