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ENG102 (Dr. Gurung): Researching the Issues

Use this guide to help with your research for Dr. Gurung's ENG102 class.

For This Assignment

You'll need at least five sources to support your essay (5-7 pages). See the boxes below to find each.

  1. At least one chapter from an online reference book, or electronic book.
  2. At least two scholarly journal articles from library databases
  3. At least two articles from newspapers or magazines (non-scholarly articles are called "popular periodicals", such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Time, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Salon etc.) Note: You can move around the magazine and textbook articles, but you must use two or more journal articles. 
  4. Relevant governmental websites and other statistical sites. 
  • You will probably not do your research in that order.
    • You might want to find interesting statistics (#4) then find popular articles (#3), then use book chapters and scholarly articles to support your point.
  • Tutorials are listed below. You can also email a librarian ( with questions, or use the green chat box on this page.
  • If you choose the topic of inequality, see topic suggestions below.

1) E-book Chapters

Use these two library databases to find encyclopedia chapters for a history and overview of your topic, so you know the important names and events you'll need to discuss your topic. 

For more ebook chapters, use the search box on the library's home page, and limit to Ebooks. That will search 170,000+ electronic books. You can download chapters. 

Subject Ideas

Try searching for articles and books with some of these terms.

- If it's a phrase, add quotation marks so the words are searched together. 
- overlap search terms with AND, or use Advanced Search. 

"Sick leave"
"Income distribution"

Poverty AND "United States"
Poverty AND "Developing countries"
Poverty and [a specific country]
"Income distribution" and [a specific country]
"Wealth gap"
Equality and "health care"

"Urban Poor"
Health AND poverty
Minorities AND income
Poverty AND "public health"

2) Scholarly Journal Articles

Search this database for scholarly and popular articles. 

  • Use Advanced Search to overlap topics.
  • In the left sidebar, adjust the date range.
  • Limit to Peer-viewed for scholarly articles. 
    • Scholarly articles are in-depth, offer statistics, and have citations/references at the end.
    • See the short video below if you are not sure what a scholarly article is. 

3) Popular Periodicals

Search these databases for magazines and newspapers.

  • Make sure the articles are relatively short and have no citations at the end. They are written for the non-expert in a topic, or to update readers on a current news event.
  • Databases don't really offer a limiter for popular periodicals; they are just the ones that are not scholarly. If you're not sure, check with Dr. Gurung or a librarian. 

Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals

This 3-minute video was created by Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Google Advanced Search

  • Do a Google search.
  • On the results page, click Settings.
  • Choose Advanced Search.
  • Add limiters: a domain (edu, gov, org, etc.), phrases, document type, more.