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English Research Guide: English 307 - Expository Writing

This research guide features resources and strategies for finding information and conducting research related to English.

Persuasion Paper

This guide provides information to help find resources for writing a Persuasion Paper.

Finding Databases on Your topic

Finding Articles in the databases:

To find databases click on the blue Browse All Databases button the main library page. On the resulting page you can search alphabetically, by subject, type, or Vendor. The two types of databases are General and Subject Specific.

Databases  - General

     Reasons to use a general database:

Shows the types of articles being written on a subject.

Can refer to more articles to deepen your research.

Crosses over several disciplines.

Multi-disciplinary: pulls together various subject areas.

Titles of General Databases to consider:

  1. CREDOPresents content from hundreds of reference books covering every major subject
  2. EBSCO QUICK SEARCH - A large, easy to use, multi-disciplinary full-text database.
  3. JSTOR – Indexes journals in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Contains some primary source material.
  4. ProQuest Central - Proquest Central is the largest multi-disciplinary full-text database 

Databases – By Title or Subject

       You can search for these databases alphabetically by name.

To narrow down to specific subjects click on the arrow in the All Subjects box.


Primary Source Material

Primary Source Material

Primary Sources are immediate, first-hand accounts of a topic, from people who had a direct connection with it.

Primary Source (also called an original source or evidence) is an artifact, document, diary, manuscript, autobiography, recording, or any other source of information that was created at the time under study.

Primary sources vary by discipline and can include historical and legal documents, eye witness accounts, results of an experiment, statistical data, pieces of creative writing, and art objects.

Examples of Primary Source Material:

Historical Documents

Letters/ diaries

Legal Documents

Eyewitness accounts

Statistical data

Pieces of creative writing

Original audio and video recordings


Art objects



Internet communications via email




Opposing Viewpoints Sources

Databases  - Opposing Viewpoint Databases

Issues & Controversies: Facts on File  - Provides coverage of current and historical events related to controversial topics. It presents background on the particular issue being debated, supporter’s arguments, opponent’s arguments, links to media clips, editorials, news reports, and discussion questions. Look here for ideas of issues currently in the news.  

CQ Researcher - Full-length articles with in-depth coverage of the most important issues of the day, including an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, and resources for additional research

Websites - Opposing Viewpoints

Pro/ – Supported by Encyclopedia Britannica, this website presents the pro and con opinions on many social issues. It claims to be impartial in its coverage.


Subject Specific Resiurces

Databases – Data 

Data-Planet A large repository of standardized and structured statistical data.

Databases – Specific Topic Areas


Communication and Mass Media CompleteContains journal articles on all aspects of the communications field, including advertising, public relations, linguistics, and literature.

            Governmental Laws

ProQuest Congressional – Contains congressional documents from 1789 to the present. Includes Congressional hearings

            Social and Educational Issues

SocIndex – Specializes in social work and human services journals.

Criminal Justice Collection - Journal articles for those studying law, law enforcement, terrorism, homeland security, forensic science, and related topics. Includes crime reports

ERIC  & Education Research Complete – All educational topics 


Business Source Complete – All things Business

Emerald - A full-text journal database in the broad discipline of management. Covers core fields (e.g., accounting, finance, human resources, marketing) and specialized areas (e.g., health care management, library/information science)


GreenFILE – Index, abstracts, and open access of research related to the environmental effects of individuals, corporations, and governments.


Music Index  or RILM Abstracts of Music Literature

Newspaper and Historical Document Access

Databases providing current and historical newspaper access:

Proquest: Historical Newspapers – provides back issues of the NY Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, The Guardian, and the Observer from 1700 and 1800s through 2000s.

          US Newsstream – Full-text newspapers, newswires, blogs, and news sites from 1980 – present

 Books providing historical American history documents:

Annals of America – multi-volume set covering 1493-1986. Housed in robotic system.

The American Republic: Primary sources – United State history from 1600-1865.