Composition 101

Librarian's Corner

± show / hide

CQ Researcher Tutorial(YouTube 2:29 mins.)

  • Resources
  • How to Find Articles
  • Books/e-
  • Searching
  • Citations
  • Web
  • QuickLinks

General/Multidisciplinary Resources

This page provides Composition 101 Students with several selected resources and tips for the research assignments.


A multidisciplinary database (covers all subject areas) that includes more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals; offers indexing and abstracts for 12,500+ journals; and includes monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc.

star Sign in to your personal folder to save and later access your articles.
star Click "Choose Database" and select other or additional databases to search.
star In the article record, use the "Cite" link under "Tools" menu at the right to copy/paste/edit the article citation.
Academic Search Complete



A current social or political "hot topic" is published weekly and includes background information, chronology, maps, charts, issues, pros/cons, and more. Coverage is non-biased and authoritative. FAQs

star Use the print drop menu to select and print specific sections.

CQ Researcher



Current, controversial topics with multiple sides supported by articles, primary sources, news briefs, and more. Find out more

Points of View Reference Learn more: Tutorial (6 mins.)

See Key Points: Getting Started (library guide

How to Find Articles on Your Topic

To store and manage your information, create a personal account Folder in EBSCO. As you find items to use for your assignment(s), just add them in your "Folder" for later use. (Training video)


Step 1: Access a database. Academic Search Complete
The database above is a good place to start as it covers all subject areas, is the largest academic database, and gives quick and easy access to change or add multiple databases with the "Choose Databases" link.

  • For off campus access, click the Off-Campus Access link on the library page and log in with your ORU network login. (Your username is your ORU email address without
  • For other databases, see the QuickLinks tab above, or go to the database list page.

Step 2: Key in your terms and Search.
Use keywords that describe your concept(s), topic or subject.

concept 1 AND concept 2
eating disorder* AND high school
eating disorder* AND (high school or college) AND (female or girl)
eating disorder* AND college student AND female AND problem

Use descriptive terms from your thesis statement. For example, an effective search may also include some of the following terms:
argu* (searches: argue, argues, argument)
compar* (-e, -ed, -s, -ison, -ing, -able)
controvers* (y, -ial, -ies)
debate, debates
issue, issues


Step 3: Evaluate your results -- sort and set limiters.
What are the assignment requirements? Are there date restrictions for the resources? Must the resources be scholarly, peer-reviewed?

  • Relevance is usually the default display, which may give you more full text articles at the top of the list. Sort by date for the most recent articles to appear at the top of the list.
  • Add limiters; set restrictions (date, peer reviewed, language, etc.)

Step 4: Evaluate the articles -- read, review and save.
Click the article title to view the detailed record.

  • Read the abstract, if available, to 1) see if the content is relevant to your topic, 2) look for additional key terms to search, and 3) identify ways to narrow your topic.
  • Review the article bibliography for additional relevant resource. If you identify an article of interest, go to the A-to-Z Journals List, search for the journal title, and then follow the links to go to the issue date that you need.
  • Save articles to your EBSCO folder for later use, easy access and creating citations.

Step 5: Evaluate your search -- tweak and improve.

  • Change or edit your search query to include other important concepts from your thesis. (Click the Searching tab above for examples of efficient search strategies.)
  • In the EBSCO interface, click Choose Databases (shown below) to select and search additional databases simultaneously, or change to another database. Click Search to rerun the search in the newly selected database(s).
    EBSCO Choose Databases
    Use a subject research guide for subject databases, resources and search tips, or see the database list.


Step 6: Read full text.
Click HTML, PDF, Linked Full text or similar link. Or, click the Check for Full Text link to see if it is available elsewhere in the Library (i.e., in another database, hard-copy in the Library, microform). If an article is not available in full text in the library, the Interlibrary Loan service can get an item (for a small fee), but that is usually not necessary for the Composition 102 research assignment.

Step 7: Cite your sources.
Look for citation tools that allow you to copy, paste and then edit the citation in MLA format.

See also: Key Points: Search Strategies and How to Find Articles.

Use the library catalog to find books in the library. Search with broad keywords or subjects that identify your topic(s). After you find a title, note if the "status" indicates the book is available. Then, record the location and call number to find the book on the shelves in the library.
eBook titles are included in the library catalog with links to the ebook, but you may prefer to search an ebook database (listed below) instead of using the library catalog.
80,000+ academic ebooks; includes ~147 Encyclopedias and ~300 Dictionaries. Create a user "bookshelf" to store and annotate your selected ebooks.
apps (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) | Download options | Quick Start Guide | Tutorial
show/ hide View search strategies
To search the entire collection, type a simple search or click "Advanced" for multiple field and text box options.
To browse and/or search by specific subject area use the "All Subjects" link at the top of the ebrary page.
To narrow your title results list click a subject, or several subjects, at the top of the page.
To open the ebook, click the title or book jacket image.
To view the most relevant chapters from all the books, click the Chapter Results tab next to the Title Results tab.
To use the Text-to-speech function: After you have found a book, click the ebrary Reader button to open a book in ebrary's reader. Choose the "Speech" tab. Highlight text to be read or just click the "Read the selected text button" for the page to be read.
eBook Collection

Search Strategies

Operator (Boolean)
Examples of key terms for searching
AND   Use to search different concepts together. Produces fewer results.

children AND evangelism

OR Use to link similar terms; group with parenthesis; produces more results
(children OR child) AND (evangelism OR evangelize)
NOT Use to specify a term you do not want in the search results.

(children OR child) AND (evangelism OR evangelize) NOT school

Excludes results with school.

Truncation (*) Searches the ROOT of a word ended with *

child* AND evangel* NOT school

Searches: child, children AND evangel, evangelism, evangelical, evangelized, etc.

Use fewer concepts Increases number of results
child* AND evangel*
Use more concepts Decreases number of results
child* AND (outreach OR evangel*) AND inner AND city
Phrase Search Use quotation marks; Refines search
child* AND (outreach OR evangel*) AND “inner city” AND “New York”
MLA Works Cited (Citations)

Try the tools listed below to copy/paste/edit citations, as needed, to match your assignment requirements. Always check the citation references for accuracy with the print style manual.


BOOKS in the ORU Library

If you use a book from the library, do a title keyword search in the library catalog, access the record, and then click How do I Cite this? (circled in the image below). Select the correct citation style (MLA) then copy/paste/edit the citation in your works cited list.

Library Catalog citation link Go there.

JOURNAL ARTICLES in an Online Database

In an EBSCO database, such as Academic Search Complete, use the Cite link in the "Tools" menu on the right sidebar, (The "Tools" menu is only available on the detailed record; it is not on the results page.)

EBSCO citations Go there.



Find a topic then use the CiteNow! link located above the issue title to view the citation options. Note that the default style is APA so make sure to select the needed style, such as MLA.

CQ Researcher citations Go there.

Pros and Cons of Controversial Issues
Resources include primary source documents, statistical evidence, government research and documents, and more.

To search for government web sites that include statistics or facts on your topic, try the following:

your topic   statistics
your topic 1   your topic 2  fact sheet

For more detailed information see How to Find Statistics.

Database QuickLinks

More Information = vendor's database description