Home >> Library >> Subject Guide
This guide will provide you with the library and information resources you need to successfully complete your English Composition research assignment. If you need any further assistance, please use our Ask A Librarian service
Before deciding on a topic, explore some background information in the following sources:
Finding background information
Encyclopedia and Dictionaries
African Americans at war: an encyclopedia
NR 355.0092 S966a 2004
Black Women In America : an historical encyclopedia
Encyclopedia of African American business history
Encyclopedia of American gospel music
The encyclopedia of American crime
Encyclopedia of American education
R370.973 U574e 2007
Encyclopedia of American religion and politics
R 322.1097 D626 2003
Encyclopedia of religion and ethics
Encyclopedia of the arts
Encyclopedia of capital punishment
R 364.6603 G878
The encyclopedia of child abuse
Encyclopedia of China: the essential reference to China, its history and culture
Encyclopedia of gangs
Encyclopedia of juvenile violence
The encyclopedia of understanding alcohol and other drugs
Encyclopedia of the great composers and their music
Encyclopedia of marriage and the family
R 306.8 E56
The encyclopedia of obesity and eating disorders
The encyclopedia of phobias, fears, and anxieties
Confederate emancipation: southern plans to free and arm slaves during the Civil War
Do prisons make us safer?: the benefits and costs of the prison boom
The color of the law: race, violence, and justice in the post-World War II South
N 364.0899 O13c
The Middle East and the United States: a historical and political reassessment
Encyclopedia of terrorism
R 303.625 C729
E-Commerce Concepts: Illustrated Introductory
Tobacco: People, Profits and Public Health
Prevention primer: An encyclopedia of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention terms
20,000 years of fashion; the history of costume and personal adornment
Virtual Reference Library (TEL)
How Do I choose a topic?
The first step in writing any paper is coming up with a good topic. A good topic is one that you find interesting and that meets the assignment requirements. The resources listed here will help you find and narrow a topic.
New York Times Topics
The New York Times has helpfully grouped its coverage by topic.
Open Democracy Topics
This web site offers high quality articles, comments and opinions on current issues in world politics, cultures, and so on.
This is a great site to give you some ideas of current topics and how to put those topics into a research question.
You may need to find books or book chapters for your research topic. The library catalog is the place to go to do that. This Resources Search Guide, it will teach you how to use the Catalog.
The catalog will open to keyword searching. If you already know the author or title that you are looking for, you can change your search options.
Once you have located the materials that you want, use this How to Read Call Numbers Guide,
You will find where the materials you need are located in the library.
You will need to find articles for your research topic. The databases listed below will help you find those articles. These are multidisciplinary databases that cover a broad range of topic areas, and are a great place to start your research.
EBSCOhost databases and discovery technologies are the most-used, premium online information resources for tens of thousands of institutions worldwide, representing millions of end-users.
EBSCOhost® is the world's most-used reference resource. It is a customizable, intuitive search experience designed to cater to user needs and preferences at every level of research, with over 300 full text and secondary databases available.EBSCOhost also serves as the foundation for EBSCO's Complete Discovery Solution, which provides users with access to an institution’s entire collection via a single, customizable entry point.
serves thousands of libraries and other institutions with premium content in every subject area
Issues & Controversies
It explores more than 800 hot topics in business, politics, government, education, and popular culture.
Current Events: Hot topics
It covers the hot topics of social studies research, science & health research, sports research, arts & literature research and people research.
Special Reports: Issues in the News
It has a collection of articles covering an array of perspectives on the key current issues in the media.
Popular vs Scholarly Articles
Popular Articles (Magazines) Examples of Popular Magazines:
- Are often written by journalists or professional writers for a general audience
- Use language easily understood by general readers
- Rarely give full citations for sources
- Written for the general public
- Tend to be shorter than journal articles
Scholarly Articles (Journals) Examples of Scholarly Journals: Writing Resources
- Are written by and for faculty, researchers or scholars (chemists, historians, doctors, artists, etc.)
- Uses scholarly or technical language
- Tend to be longer articles about research
- Include full citations for sources
- Are often refereed or peer reviewed (articles are reviewed by an editor and other specialists before being accepted for publication)
- Book reviews and editorials are not considered scholarly articles, even when found in scholarly journals
Books at Lane College library
MLA Handbook for Writing of Research Papers
An Innovative Instructional Handbook for Building
808.04 L438 CEL
How to Write Great Essays
Building Essays: a Reader-Centered Writing Guide
Literature and the Writing Process
808.04 M167l 1999
The Elements of Style
The Elements of Basic Writing with Readings
808.04 R845 CEL
Current of Inquiring: Readings for Academic Writing
How to Write a Lot: a Practical Guide to ProductiveAcademic Writing
American Writers: a Collection of Literary Biographies
R810.9 A512 V.1-V.4
MLA Style and Guide to Scholarly Publishing,
The Art of Writing
Shortcuts for the Student Writer
by Silverman, Jay.; Hughes, Elaine.; Wienbroer, Diana Roberts.
Publication: New York McGraw-Hill Professional, 2005.
Gothic Writers: A Critical and Bibliographical Guide
by Thomson, Douglass H.; Voller, Jack G.; Frank, Frederick S.
Publication: Westport, Conn. Praeger, 2002.
The Columbia Companion to the Twentieth-century American Short Story
by Gelfant, Blanche H.
Publication: New York Columbia University Press, 2000.
American Ethnic Writers
by Peck, David R.; Irons-Georges, Tracy.
Publication: Pasadena, Calif. Salem Press, 2000.
Notable African American Writers
Publication: Pasadena, Calif Salem Press, 2006.
Contemporary African American Novelists: A Bio-bibliographical Critical Sourcebook
by Nelson, Emmanuel S.
Publication: Westport, Conn Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999.