Research Guide for

ENGC 1101 College Writing (Heinsohn)

Find Minnesota State Information, formerly known as Northstar, is the state of Minnesota's web portal. It links to all the Minnesota state agencies, the governor, and legislature. There is lots of local and state information.

Minnesota State Legislature
The Minnesota legislature website includes sections for the House; the Senate; Minnesota laws, statutes, and rules; and information on the status of bills considered each session.

Minnesota Links to the World
The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library compiled this list of links to Minnesota-based state agencies, nonprofits, advocacy groups, and other organizations by topic.


Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT)
Includes transit plans and statistics.

Find Local & Regional Newspaper Articles

Minneapolis Star Tribune (ProQuest)
Local and regional news, including community events, schools, politics, government policies, cultural activities, local companies, state industries, and people in the community.

St. Paul Pioneer Press (Newsbank)
Text-only articles (no images) from Pioneer Press and from 1988 to the present. To see each page of the paper as it appeared in print (with images and ads), see the print layout of St. Paul Pioneer Press, available for 2018 - present.
Note: 1988-

ProQuest News & Newspapers
Provides full text coverage of thousands of U.S. newspapers.

Find Minnesota City Information

Minnesota City Websites
The League of Minnesota Cities keeps a database of city contact information. Select your city of interest from the list, click "Search," and click on the city name to display the web address of the official city website.
Tip: In general, city websites follow the web address format

Find Minnesota County Information

Minnesota County Websites
The Association of Minnesota Counties keeps this up-to-date list of links to county websites.

Tip: In general, county websites follow the web address format

Minnesota Department of Health - Data
The Minnesota Public Health Data Access portal at the Minnesota Department of Health includes statistics by topic and region, including interactive county profiles with environmental and health data (cancer, immunization, air quality, etc.) for each county in Minnesota.

Find Background Information

Article databases search for journal, magazine, and newspaper articles. Reference databases search reference books and encyclopedias. Use these databases to find background information on your topic. These are good places to find broad information relating to your topic. Note: You will not use these to find specific, regional information on your topic.

General OneFile (Gale)
General OneFile logoSearch for information in mainstream, popular, specialized, and scholarly journals, 5 major newspapers, and 89 wire services.

MasterFILE Complete
Multi-disciplinary database of general reference publications. Coverage varies.

Gale eBooks
Gale eBooks is a collection of full-text e-books including encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference books in biography, history, literature, medicine, and more.

Book Search

Book Search searches the listing of books and ebooks available at the Normandale Library.

Note: Book Search results include both online ebooks and paper books available for pickup at the library. Follow these instructions to request a paper book (PDF) be held for pickup.

Search Other Local Publications

Minnesota Newspapers Directory
Links to Minnesota newspaper websites, including local, special interest, and college and university papers.

City Pages
Minneapolis/St. Paul weekly magazine with news features.

Minnesota Daily
University of Minnesota's student newspaper. Enter your search term in the search box in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage.

MinnPost provides news and analysis Monday through Friday, based on reporting by professional journalists, most of whom have decades of experience in the Twin Cities media. The site features high-quality video and audio, as well as written stories. It also includes commentary pieces from the community, and comments from readers on individual stories. The site will not endorse candidates for office or publish unsigned editorials representing an institutional position. We encourage broad-ranging, civil discussion from many points of view.

Twin Cities Daily Planet
Twin Cities Daily Planet logoNonprofit news website that publishes original articles and republishes selected articles from community newspapers and blogs. Articles are usually written by volunteer citizen journalists.

Ask a Librarian

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Call, e-mail, or chat with a librarian for more research assistance. We're happy to help!

  (952) 358-8290


Luke MosherReference and Instruction

photo of DavidDavid Vrieze Daniels
Reference and Instruction Librarian

Note: Your chat question may be directed to a librarian from another college when Normandale librarians are unavailable.

Access Databases from Off Campus

Access Databases from Off Campus
In order to access databases and other Library resources from off campus, login with your StarID and password when prompted.  Off-campus access to library databases is only available to current Normandale students, staff, and faculty.

I Have a Topic. Now What?

 engc1101heinsohn2014nowwhat.pdf pdf 
This two-page PDF file lists questions you may want to ask yourself as you are researching your local problem and suggests places to go to get the information you need.

Cite your Sources (MLA)

MLA Quick Guide
See MLA citation examples for the most common types of sources (8th edition).

MLA Formatting and Style Guide (OWL at Purdue)
This website offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, and the Works Cited page.

What is Research?