Research Guide for

ENGC 1101 College Writing (Woodward)


Find Sources

Topic Ideas
If anyone is still looking for topic ideas, Opposing Viewpoints has a giant list of potential topics here.

Books give in-depth information on broad topics, and are a great starting point. To use a book as a source, you don't have to read the whole book - you can use just one chapter, or even just a few pages.
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.

Encyclopedia articles give short overviews of broad topics. They are usually just a few pages and give general information. Think of them as similar to Wikipedia pages.

Gale eBooks
Selected dictionaries, encyclopedias, and reference books in many subjects.

Credo Reference
Credo logoArticles from dictionaries, general and subject encyclopedias, handbooks, atlases, and more.

Current Issues and Hot Topics

These databases collect articles on current issues and hot topics, along with what's going on in the current social landscape. CQ Researcher contains news reporting specifically, and Opposing Viewpoints collects all kinds of sources, including pro/con argumentative essays they call "Viewpoints."

CQ Researcher
Reports on controversial issues of national importance (health care, public safety, education, environment, etc.). Each report is on a single topic. Helpful as a topic overview. 

Opposing Viewpoints (Gale In Context)
Opposing Viewpoints in ContextTopic overviews, opinion articles, and additional sources on social, economic, and political issues.

Articles from Newspapers, Magazines, and Academic Journals

These databases contain articles from newspapers, magazines, and academic journals. They tend to have a more specific focus than books or encyclopedias, so you can be a little more narrow and focus on a specific aspect of your topic. Newspapers report on specific people, events, and general trends as they play out locally; magazines cover general trends in culture; and academic journals contain articles written by scholars that are in-depth and usually very specific to one aspect of a given topic. Remember to click the full-text box in Academic Search Premier to limit to just articles the database has access to.

Academic Search Complete (EBSCOhost)
Articles in all subjects from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. An all-purpose database and often a good place to start.

Academic OneFile (Gale)
Academic OneFile (Gale)Articles in all subjects from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. An all-purpose database.

Academic Journals Only

Academic journal articles are written by scholars and researchers in specific fields to share their findings and research with others in their field. These databases only contain academic journals. 

Scholarly articles, ebooks, and primary sources in the social sciences, humanities, earth and biological sciences, and more. Includes images from libraries, museums, and archives.

Project MUSE
Journal articles and books on literature, history, visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, and more.

Newspapers Only

Newspaper articles are written by journalists and reporters to inform the general public about current local events, people, and trends.

ProQuest News & Newspapers

News articles from U.S. newspapers. Includes the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Star Tribune, and many local newspapers.


Search (Nearly) Everything

This Combined Search is the search box on the library home page - it searches nearly everything, print books + many (but not all) databases. 

Combined Search

Combined Search helps find articles, books, and videos from the library collection.

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


MLA Citation

The most common source you will use, if you are searching in the databases on this guide, is an article from an online database. Here is the basic form. You will likely need to tailor the citation to match your particular source - double check a guide like the OWL Purdue MLA guide online, or visit the library or writing center.

Article from Online Database - basic form:
Author. “Article Title.” Journal Title, volume number, issue number, date of publication, page numbers if available. Database Name, DOI or stable URL.

Alonso, Alvaro, and Julio A. Camargo. “Toxicity of Nitrite to Three Species of Freshwater Invertebrates.” Environmental Toxicology, vol. 21, no. 1, 3 Feb. 2006, pp. 90-94. Wiley Online Library,

Ask a Librarian

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

  (952) 358-8290


Luke MosherReference and Instruction

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

Cite your Sources (MLA)

MLA Quick Guide (PDF)
See MLA citation examples for the most common types of sources (9th 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. Uses MLA 9th edition.

Access Our Databases from Anywhere

Online Library Access Info
To access databases and other Library resources, login with your StarID and password when prompted.  Access is only available to current Normandale students and employees.


Evaluate Source Credibility

Evaluate each source you use with CAPPS!
Consider the source's –
C = Currency
A = Author
P = Publication
P = Point of View
S = Sources

More info about CAPPS pdf