Selecting Topics: Using Shatford Library Databases
Selecting a topic for your research paper or speech is one of the most difficult steps in the research process. Consider using these Library databases to help you find a topic that interests you.
- SIRS Knowledge Source Articles from popular magazines, newspapers, U.S. government publications and selected websites. Use the tab at the top for “Topic Browse” or Pro/Con “more issues”
- Opposing Viewpoints Focus is on social issues. Includes opinion articles, pro/con, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, full-text periodical articles and selected websites. Select from the list of popular topics or search the subject guide.
- CQ Researcher Focus on controversial issues with summaries, background, opinions, bibliographies and more. Use the Pro/Con, Browse by Topic or Issue Tracker on the left.
Define the issue and identify your main concepts and keywords.
Brainstorm a list of synonyms, related words and phrases for your topic.
Learn more about your topic. Use these resources for background knowledge:
Access from Library website: www.pasadena.edu/library
- PCC Library Catalog (Books, reference books and media)
- Encyclopedia Britannica Online
Provides great background articles on topics as well as links to legitimate web resources.
Thousands of journal, magazine, and newspaper articles covering all disciplines.
Also includes a Topic Guide and Cite This tool.
Don’t just Google, try: Internet Public Library www.ipl.org (links to selected information websites)
Example citations and formating requirements are provided by these sites:
- Student Guide to the MLA Works Cited List http://www.pasadena.edu/library/documents/mlaguide_revFall09.pdf
- Diana Hacker's Research and Documentation Online http://www.dianahacker.com/resdoc/
last updated: 07/06/2011 by P. Johnson revision #3