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Research Help & Course Guides

What can you ask a librarian?
  • Topic development help
  • Finding scholarly and popular sources and data
  • Evaluating information for credibility
  • Ethically using information

RHE Course Guides by your librarian

For Undergraduates page: research guides and other resources for you

How and where to search

Brainstorm keywords:

  • What words do people use when talking about my topic?
  • What are people arguing about?
  • Who cares about my topic?

Organize with this keyword grid or use this tool to generate keywords

Choose a place to search:

Guides:

Choose and develop your topic

Use these resources to learn more about a broad topic as well as who cares about a topic and why.

Gale Virtual Reference Library
Broad topic overviews from encyclopedias.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Viewpoints, overviews, government and organizational statistics, biographies, court cases, newspaper and magazine articles, and web sites.

Evaluate

  • Credibility: 
    Who is the author? Is he/she an expert on the subject, a representative from a credible organization, a columnist for a newspaper? What gives the author authority to represent that side of the controversy?  (ex: US Secretary of Commerce? A lawyer? A reporter for a student newspaper?)
    • TIP: If there is no information on the author, try Googling that person. If the name is common one, use a keyword from the topic (ex. Rebecca Blank and Department of Commerce). Many web sites won’t have individual authors listed so ask the same questions of the organization as a whole.
  • Source bias: 
    Does the source (newspaper, magazine, web site) generally lean to one side of controversies (examples: liberal vs. conservative; free market economics vs. government regulated economy)?
  • Accuracy
    Is this information true? If it’s a viewpoint, did they use facts to support it? Are the facts accurate? Where did they get the information? Can you find this information elsewhere to confirm its accuracy?
  • Currency
    Is it current enough for your research?

Evaluate Websites guide

Evaluate books, magazines, newspapers and journals guide

Write & Cite

NoodleTools (formats bibliographies in MLA for you)
All About Plagiarism tutorial 
Writing Center (in the Learning Commons @PCL): Drop-in or make an appointment with a trained writing consultant