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ENG 151/152 Controversial Issues: Finding Articles & More

A guide to sources for argumentative papers and persuasive speeches

Off-Campus Access to Databases

To access any database in this Research Guide from off campus, you will need your myMCC login. You may find your myMCC login at www.mchenry.edu/myMCC. Click on Password Reset/Find Username.

Using the Article Databases

Article Databases mostly contain articles from periodicals, including:

Journal Articles, which cover research and practice in a particular field or discipline. These articles are written by experts in the field and are a high quality source. Limit your search to just journal articles by checking the Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals option.

Magazine and Newspaper Articles, which are written more to the general public. They're not as high quality as journal articles and don't go through a rigorous peer review, but may still be appropriate depending on your topic. Use the Source Evaluation Rubric under the Evaluating Sources tab to evaluate these types of articles.

Some databases, especially those geared to a particular topic such as Literary Reference Center, contain periodical articles as well as articles from reference books.

Argumentative & Social Issues Papers

Starting Your Research

If your research assignment requires you to write about a current social or controversial issue, the following databases are a good place to start.

General Information Databases

For more general information, the following databases offer full-text articles covering a wide range of topics. Make sure to combine your terms with Boolean AND (to include all terms), or Boolean OR (to include any term). 

How to Search

The videos and other resources below will help you be a better database searcher!

Selecting and Using Keywords Video (3:50)

keyword with magnifying glass over research

Joshua Vossler's video "Selecting and Using Keywords"

Research Tip: If you were researching the topic "videogame violence" as discussed in the video above, you could also use a great and reliable site such as this: https://www.statista.com/topics/868/video-games/  (Video Game Industry: Statistics & Facts | Statista)

Quick Tips and Shortcuts for Database Searching (video 5:19)

How to Enter Your Keywords into a Database (video)

Online Databases: a definition

An organized collection of computer records having a standard format designed for efficient retrieval of information. 

Advantages of Online Databases:

  • Can access remotely
  • Can limit results to full text of articles
  • More time efficient
  • Information is updated frequently
  • More flexible and precise searching
  • Access to more resources than could be physically located in the library

Literature Analysis Papers

If your research assignment requires you to write about literary criticism or literary themes, the following databases are a good place to start.

Additional Databases & Research Guides

Depending on your topic, you may want to use databases beyond what is on this page and/or research guides other than the English guide. The following list can get your started.